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Mr. President and Gentlemen :
Wearied as yon necessarily are by your long continued sit-
tings in this investigation, and satiated, as you must be, with
discussion, I feel that in closing this debate I should be as brief
as duty will permit, and such will be my aim. Further argu-
ment may be unnecessary, but a summary of the leading facts,
and a reply to what has been said in behalf of the respondent,
may possibly help you toward a just determination of the issues
presented, and is necessary to a proper discharge of the duty de-
volving upon me.
Gentlemen, when I left my home in answer to the call for my
services in this case it was with the honest hope that the accused
might establish his innocence of all the very grave charges which
had been brought against him — a hope based not only upon that
regard for the honor and welfare of my native State which
ought to inspire all of her sons, but also upon a kindly senti-
ment arising out of an acquaintance with Dr. Grissom from my
boyhood. I came with a judicial mind, and the first words I
said to my associate counsel upou my arrival were that if the
allegation that a conspiracy existed to destroy the accused was
justified by the evidence I would be the first person to denounce
it. Alas! sirs, this allegation of conspiracy, upon which his de-
fence is based, has dwindled into a fruitless attempt to excuse
himself from responsibility for the offences alleged against him
by showing that another for whom he was responsible has also
been guilty of as great offences. The allegation is more than
fruitless. It is admitted to be untrue so far as John W. Thomp-
son is concerned. Not one of the counsel for Dr. Grissom has
ventured to utter a word reflecting upon the character or the
motives of Mr. Thompson. He stands before you — the defendant
and his counsel themselves bearing witness to the fact — an hon-
orable, kind, intelligent, big-hearted, generous man, who would
sporn a mean act; and they but echo the universal voice of all
whi> know him when they attribute to him such a character.
Recognizing the force of this pregnant fact, and driven to the
necessity of rinding some sufficient motive for Mr. Thompson to
engage in what they have persistently and vociferously declared
to be a wicked and malicious conspiracy, they say that this big,
strong, honest and sensible man has been led into it like an im-
becile . by the wily hand of young Dr. Rogers — that, like the
Moor <>f Venice, he opened his ears to the poisonous words of
this Iago, until they drove him blindly to do a desperate deed.
Ah ! gentlemen, there was a Desdemona in this case, but John
W. Thompson had no interest in her — there was jealousy, as
testified to by one of the defendant's own witnesses, but the
green-eyed monster never fastened his fangs upon the heart of
John W. Thompson. There was nothing in that heart upon
which a cunning Iago could play until it was lashed into fury.
John W. Thompson had nothing to gain by prosecuting Dr.
Grissom, even if he was convicted, while he had everything to
lose if he was acquitted. He already had all he could hope to
get at the Asylum. He had been the Steward for eight years,
and, being in good repute with everybody, could continue to
hold the position as long as he pleased. He knew that Dr.
Grissom wielded a wide-spread and powerful influence all
over the State, and that in arraying him before this Board and
the people of North Carolina he was assaulting one who for
years had exhausted every resource of a fertile brain in fortify-
ing his position. He fully realized the situation, and yet, with
a heroism seldom exhibited under such circumstances, he man-
fully marched out with the banner of truth and purity and
justice in his hand to fight the battle-single b handed if necessary,
in behalf of the good people of North Carolina. He repudi-
ates with contempt the allegation that he is the victim of the
cunning wiles of Dr. Rogers or anybody else. He said frankly
while on the witness stand, in answer to the question of counsel
why he had so long delayed action in this matter, that it was
one of the sins he had to answer for. He stood what he knew
.was going on in this institution as long as he could, but, when
he became satisfied that it was being transformed into a harem,
and the evidence of it was becoming plainer each day, he could
and would stand it no longer, and resolved to expose these
iniquities to the public gaze. He is no tool in the hands of Dr.
Rogers ! He is no fool or weakling, but a man, every inch of
him, mentally, morally, and physically, a man who fears God
and speaks the truth, and who would wrong no human being
The counsel who opened this discussion, speaking of the history
of this institution in connection with a eulogistic biography of Dr.
Grissom, said that the unhallowed hands of political partisan-
ship had never been and would never be placed upon it, and he
alluded to that sad period of the history of North Carolina
directly after the war when she was humbled in the dust. This
was au unfortunate reference, indeed, for his clieut, and it re-
lieves me from any obligation not to refer to a subject to which
otherwise I would have made no allusion. Does counsel sup-
pose that the people of North Carolina have forgotten or ever
will forget those days, or the part that his clieut played in them?
Is he trying to remind us that Dr. Grissom enjoyed the distin-
guished honor of presiding over the first convention of those
who took possession after the war, and organized hell in our
State? Does he remember how that good man and venerable
physician, Dr. Fisher, was displaced from thesuperiutendency of
this institution? How, after much dirty intrigue, the first
notice Dr. Fisher received of his removal was when that "hair-
less Celt," Tim Lee, the carpet-bag sheriff of Wake county, ap-
peared at the door of this institution and notified him to get
out, as Grissom was ready to take charge? Verily, it cannot be
denied that for nineteen years past the hands of political par-
tisanship have not been laid upon this institution when they
might very well have been, and no living man has such cause to
be grateful for it as Dr. Grissom.
All this is irrelevant to this case, but so was the biographical
sketch of Dr. Grissom as a mason and a physician, which coun-
sel read, and it is to complete the biography which he left un-
finished that I add these little items.
Gentlemen, when the shock of this great scandal startled the
people of North Carolina they, with that spirit of fairness and
enlightened justice which has always characterized them, turned
their gaze anxiously towards this capital aud waited for the testi-
mony before forming a judgment in the case.
Since the testimony has been given that look has hardened
into one of stern determination, and the hot breath of their
righteous indignation fills the air. The thanks -of the peo-
ple of North Carolina are justly due, and I am sure will be
cordially given, to those who have unearthed these wrongs, and
especially are they due to the able, and faithful, and indefatiga-
ble counsel with whom I have the honor to be associated here,
for the valuable service he has rendered to them, and to the
cause of good government. They have experienced a humilia-
tion in the discovery that N rottenness exists at the very core of
their system of charities, but while they wince beneath the blade
that cuts it out they will bless the hand that guides that blade.
North Carolina has been stabbed before, but thank God the blow
has generally come from alien hands. If she has been a laggard
in the race of so-called progress, she has been still slower in ac-
quiring some of the baser arts that accompany it. It has been
her chief glory throughout her whole history, in peace or war,
that those to whom she confided her honor have been faithful to
their trust. Accursed be the day that shall usher in a change of
destiny for her in this respect! I sincerely trust that the de-
velopments made during the progress of this investigation may
be promptly followed by a searching examination into every
other public institution in the State, and that all who are in-
trusted with any public duty may be continually held to the
most rigid accountability. By this means only can purity and
honesty of administration be secured, and the public interests be
Surely, surely, if there was one institution in our State where
the people had a right to expect to find a pure and humane ad-
ministration; if there was, within all her wide borders, one spot
where they might justly hope to see prevailing the virtues which
have elevated and ennobled our race, it was here, where, by awful
contrast, God's lesson of responsibility is hourly taught. But
those who have so trusted — and they were the great body of the
people — have been rudely awakened to a realization of the fact
that even in this sanctuary of the afflicted the trail of the ser-
pent has been made, and that its chosen High Priest — he who
should have been its faithful servitor and guardian — has yielded
to the tempter and done grievous wrong to them, to this asylum
Am I using the language of exaggeration? Let us see.
It is not my purpose to discuss at any length the second and
third charges — cruelty to patients and the misappropriation of
property — because they have been the theme of my associate's
powerful and .exhaustive argument; but I will refresh your
memory a little in regard to them, beginning with the last
charge, and taking them, as Gov. Jarvis did, in reverse order.
Counsel affected to treat with contempt the allegation that Dr.
Grissom had misappropriated the property of the institution, and
asked if we would not abandon that charge as trivial. I replied
that we abandoned nothing, for we had proved all, but that,
speaking for myself, I would say that the actual amount of mis-
appropriation, showed by their own witnesses, was not so large,
when compared with the enormity of the other offences, as to de-
mand a great share of our attention. It is to be remembered
that the amount of these peculations is exclusively within the
knowledge of the accused and his immediate friends, and that all
we could hope to establish was the fact that a system of pecula-
tion had long existed, and to prove it by such particulars as we
could get out of his witnesses. Well, did we prove the system
and the particulars? Did we not prove that, in regard to some
matters, the Superintendent and matron actually ordered the
housekeeper to make a false report? Did we not prove that out
of 3,000 bunches of celery raised here only 1,444 bunches were
given to the patients, and the rest were disposed of in some other
way ? Did we not prove tha,t out of 90 turkeys raised and
bought last year the patients only got 35, while Dr. Grissom got
41, leaving 14 still here? Did we not prove that liquors in con-
siderable quantities, and on numerous occasions, were sent away
from the institution ? And did we not prove that, in addition
to the acknowledged debt of $500 for supplies, due for two years,
other supplies were sent to the Superintendent's table, and en-
tered on the books as " light diet " for the patients ? How much
of this sort of thing has been done we don't know, and have no
means of ascertaining, but the law forbids any of it ; and how
you can say that Dr. Grissom has not misappropriated the prop-
erty of the institution I do not understand. The people of North
Carolina are willing to be taxed for the benefit of the insane, but
they are not willing to submit to taxation for the benefit of Dr.
Grissom and his friends.
But this charge of misappropriation, established as it is, al-
most sinks into insignificance by the side of the other two
charges of cruelty and immorality. . ,
The history of the treatment of the insane and the manage-
ment of asylums has been learnedly and ably discussed by my
associate, and the cases named in the specifications under the sec-
ond charge here have been dwelt upon' by him at great length.
I shall, therefore, not occupy much of your time with them, but
will confine myself to only two or three of them, in a brief and
general way, in reply to what lias been said in defence of Dr.
Grissom. As to the advisability of the use of some sort of me-
chanical restraint (for the prevention of injury to themselves or
other inmates) upon the violent and dangerous insane, it is not
worth while to enter into any argument. There is a difference
of opinion among alienists, however, even as to such cases. In
Europe and in many institutions in this country such restraint is
entirely abolished. Nowhere is such restraint ever used as pun-
ishment. To punish an insane person is to commit an act of
wholly inexcusable brutality, and ought to be everywhere, as it
is in England, a statutory misdemeanor. In the cases brought
to your attention in which Dr. Grissom is charged with cruelty
it has not been pretended that the patients were strapped to pre-
vent them from doing injury. In every instance, except one,
the strapping was done after the cause of it had passed. Accord-
ing to Grissom's own statement it is clear that such was the case
in regard to Miss Foy, Henry Cone, J. D. L. Smith, Mis. Over-
man, Mrs. Lowther, and Upchurch, not to mention the minor
cases. Dr. Grissom said that in every case what he did was in-
tended not as punishment — oh! no, perish the thought! — but
"to make a deep mental impression as to the impropriety of their
Well, that is a pitiful juggling with words. One of the pur-
poses of all punishment is to make a deep mental impression as
to the impropriety of doing the thing for which the punishment
is inflicted. But. with an insane person what does a deep men-
tal impression of this kind amount to"? Mr. Guthrie, the able
lawyer, who testified (for Dr. Grissom) as to his own treatment
and that of others while he was temporarily insane and an in-
mate of this institution, and whose statement was so interesting,
said that while he knew and remembered everything that oc-
curred perfectly well, he could not coutrol himself at all; and
so it is with other insane persons. They are keenly alive to any
indignity or injury done' to them, but, although conscious that
they may incur it, they cannot help themselves; and, therefore,
such " deep mental impression" as Dr. Grissom inflicted upon
them could not prevent the "impropriety" from occurring
again, while it only aggravated their sufferings. Bur it so hap-
pened, as confessed by Dr. Grissom, that in several of these in-
stances the "deep mental impression" was made by him when
very angry with the patient. He says in regard to one
of them that he "was powerfully overcome by anger" upon re-
ceiving an insulting note from the patient, and proceeded
thereupon — not to punish hun, oh! no, certainly not — but to
make "a deep mental impression upon him" by applying his
machine of torture for some hours. In fact, it does not appear
in any case that he did this in the cool, dispassionate spirit of a
ministering physician, or even with that degree of pitying sym-
pathy with which he kissed Mrs. Perkiuson. Her sorrows
touched his heart, it seems, but their hopeless affliction was not
even a shield against his violence. Is not this fact enough of
itself to show that Dr. Grissqm is not a fit man for his position?
His "deep mental impressions," too, according to the witnesses^
produced no beneficial effect upon those who were subjected to
them, but, on the contrary, iu Smith's case, at least, they made
him worse — or, as one of the witnesses testified, "meaner" — than
he was before. Is it not remarkable that, even in the cases
where Dr. Grrissom admits the "deep mental impression" dodge
was played, he denies that the occurrence took place as de-
scribed by the witnesses, in each and every one of them? Two
unim peached and unimpeachable witnesses (Mr. D. K. Farrell
and Mr. J. A. Norwood) swore that he choked Henry Cone
severely and threw water in his faee — the former testifying to
such an occurrence in 1885, and the latter to a similar one in
1887, when he also put his foot on him. But Grissom, while
admitting the throwing of the water, denied the choking, and
told us that ridiculous story about his placing his hands on the
sides of Cone's neck to hold him off, and stop the congestion.
He threatened to kick Smith, abused him, told him he ought to
be in the penitentiary, and had him strapped a long time, be-
cause he wrote him an insulting note; but this was not punish-
ment, he says, for he wouldn't punish a patient; it was only to
make "a mental impression as to the impropriety of his con-
duct." Old Mrs. Lowther, a poor, feeble, old woman, spat at or
abused him, according to the report of an attendant, and he had
her strapped to the bed in that position of torture for two days,
and two hours after she was released she died, and no report of the
cause of her death was made, although all other deaths with the
cause of death are invariably reported. It has been asserted, or
intimated, that the strapping had nothing to do with her
death, and that she died of heart disease. Why, then, was it not
so reported? And, if it was heart disease, is it not the most
reasonable conclusion that it was produced by her struggles to
free herself from the terrible restraint and the result of conges-
tion? I will spare you the contemplation of such a picture as
might be drawn of that aged woman, writhing in the harness
which bound her to the rack, and the supposition that she was
your mother or wife, but will leave that to your imagination.
And now, gentlemen, one steady look for a moment at Up-
church's case, and I will leave the second charge in this arraign-
Something was said about candor by counsel on the other
side. Why did not Dr. Grissom come out like a man at the
beginning of this investigation and confess his guilt as to
Upchuroh's case ? Why did counsel wait until driven to the wall
by overwhelming proof before they admitted that he had perpe-
trated that infamous outrage? And why, when thus driven to
the wall, did they despairingly turn around and try to throw
the blame of this confessedly inexcusable crime upon Mr.
A wretched maniac is thrown to the floor by three strong
men, who hold him powerless on his back, and this gentle and
humane Superintendent walks up to him, and, with the weight
of his two hundred pounds of flesh, stamps him in the face, say-
ing : " You d — d sou of a , how does that feel ?" And the
only thing counsel have to say is that if John W. Thompson
had gone to his assistance it would not have happened ! ! I re-
fuse to dignify such a pitiful plea — a plea so insulting to your
common sense — with any argument, but will leave it to your
And now, although counsel have affected to pooh ! pooh ! it,
and whistle it down the wind as of no consequence, I will pro-
ceed to discuss the gravest charge brought against Dr. Grissom.
The first charge against Dr. Grissom is that he has been guilty
of gross immorality in connection with the female attendants of
the institution, and others. Has this charge been sustained by
the evidence adduced? We introduced three witnesses to prove
it in the case of- Miss Burch, and two witnesses to prove it in re-
gard to others. Each of these witnesses (except the poor colored
boy, Emanuel Jones) has established a character for veracity by
the mouths of many witnesses, and each swore absolutely and
unequivocally to the facts in the respective cases named in the
specifications. How does the accused meet this proof? By a
denial of the facts and an attempt to discredit the witnesses. He
was the first witness in his own behalf, and, taking the charges
and specifications seriatim, he flatly denies every damaging
statement of the witnesses for the prosecution in regard to each
and every one of them. It is, gentlemen, manifest that there
has been an immense amount of false swearing in this case by
somebody. There has been lying hy wholesale and retail either
against or in behalf of the accused. There has been no room
for mere differences of memory or judgment. The unmistakable
odor of perjury is perceptible in the atmosphere of this case.
Whence does it come? With sincere sorrow I ask you if the
evidence does not justify the belief that some of it, at least,
comes from those lips whose sympathetic touch was so gratefully
received, as they themselves tell us, by the wife of an humble
employee of this institution — from those lips, which, kindling
with an increasing fervor, sought again and again, as that wife
tells us, to meet her own — which asked her to dishonor herself,
her husband and her sick child by becoming a prostitute, and
which, when that proposition was indignantly rejected, pitifully
begged that she would not tell her husband, and offered hush-
money to secure secrecy — from those lips which also "sympa-
thized" so strongly with a seventeen-year-old girl who was an
attendant, that when sick in bed she was solicited by them to
submit to a kiss first, and afterwards to personal degradation —
aye, gentlemen, from those lips which, fresh from contact with
the volume of God's Holy Scripture, by which they swore to
speak "the truth, the whole truth and nothing but; the truth,"
denied the truth of almost every material allegation sworn to by
a cloud of respectable witnesses?
In regard to the first charge, that of immorality, he positively
swore that it is absolutely false in every particular under every
specification, only admitting that he had kissed Mrs. Perkinson
one time when she was in trouble, " out of sympathy." As to
Miss Edwa'rds, he swore that rfer testimony was a "a tissue of
falsehoods from beginning to end," with the exception of one
immaterial fact, and he swore that the testimony in regard to
Miss Burch was wholly untrue. So that he makes a general de-
nial of the whole and a special denial of each particular allega-
I shall invite your attention for a few minutes to the testi-
mony of Miss Edwards. It would be uncandid in me if I did not
say to you at the outset that I recognize the fact that the discov-
ery and publication of Dr. Rogers' letter was calculated to dis-
credit any testimony of which he might be supposed to be the
originator, or any young woman with whom he might be sup- 1
posed to be on terms of intimacy. And yet, when you come to
consider with fairness and justice all the facts sworn to by Miss
Edwards, and all the facts offered for the purpose of discrediting
her, it is impossible to disregard her testimony. She is a young
person, she is very sprightly and pretty, and correspondingly
giddy. She was manifestly a cause of jealousy between two men,
and openly declared, according to Mrs. Williams' testimony,
that she and one of these men were " sweethearts." The other
and older man tried to take liberties with her, which she re-
sented ; then finally, when the fight came between these two men,
she came here and told what she knew against the one whom she
disliked. That is about the sum of it. In regard to some trifling
matters she was contradicted, it is true, but they were matters
about which it was perfectly natural, and, I may say, legitimate,
for her to conceal the truth. She met Mr. R. H. Whitaker on
the train, and he says she spoke highly of Dr. Grissom,and said
she expected to return to the Asylum. Mr. Whitaker was an
utter stranger to her — she had never seen him before. Is it to
be supposed she would have unbosomed herself about what Dr.
Grissom had done to this perfect stranger, who only rode a few
miles with her on the train?
The only other matter about which unfavorable comment
could be made was her introducing Dr. Rogers under a false
name to Mrs. Williams ; and reWmber Mrs. Williams herself
says that Miss Edwards excused herself for this upon the ground
that there was jealousy about her, aud she didn't waut it known
that Rogers had visited her there.
She openly declared to Mrs. Williams that Rogers was her
sweetheart, and she didn't care who knew it. I must confess that,
such being the case, it is not very surprising to me to learn that
Rogers was seen with his arm around her waist, but I would
rather have some other proof of it than the word of a woman who
said she saw it on a pitch black, rainy night, just after leaving a
bright light. I don't mention the other witness, young Williams,
who peeped through the blinds, because counsel insist that a
man who will peep, like King did, ought not to be believed on
oath. Perhaps there may be a difference in the degree of credi-
bility to be attached to one who peeps through blinds from that
due to one who peeps through a key-hole, although I do not re-
member to have seen it laid down in any work on evidence ; but
I will be more liberal than the counsel, aud say frankly that I
have no doubt Rogers actually did sit on the sofa with his arm
around her. It seems to me that I've heard of sweethearts
doing that before. But, gentlemen, does that involve any moral
turpitude in the young lady ?
Are you prepared to say that any young lady who will permit
her sweetheart to put his arm around her waist thereby justifies
the suspicion that she is devoid of truth and virtue? Hardly.
And yet this is the very worst thing that has been proved against
Miss Edwards, and on the strength of it you are asked to say
that all the evidence she has given in this case is false. Dr.
Grissom swore it was "a tissue of falsehoods from beginning to
end," and yet, as my associate so clearly demonstrated to you, he
himself corroborates her testimony in regard to his cruelty to
patients. Why should it not be true as to his attempts upon her
virtue? She is. the daughter of a respectable physician, and has
proved by a number of witnesses an excellent character, and she
says that Dr. Grissom on several occasions made these improper
advances to her. Counsel ridiculed as palpably false her state-
ment that Grissom talked to her about running away with him,
and says the idea of a man of his position, with a family, run-
ning away with a girl is absurd on the face of it. Certainly it
would be absurd, and I have no idea that Dr. Grissom ever con-
templated any such thing, but whether he tried to make her be-
lieve he would in order to accomplish a purpose is quite another
matter, and not so absolutely incredible on the face of it. With
this brief notice of Miss Edwards' testimony, I pass on to what I
consider a more important matter.
Now let us for a few minutes consider the case of Mrs. Per-
kinson. Dr. Grissom says she told the truth about his kissing
her "through sympathy," but that she swore falsely as to the
other kissings and attempts at kissing. He admits that his first
kiss was unfortunate, and I think everybody will agree with him.
It was very unfortunate — it was, in fact, a calamitous osculation,
because, it stirred from his lair the devil of lust, who from that
hour began to exhibit himself whenever Mrs. Perkinson came
into Dr. Grissom's presence. Hear the pitiful story of this poor
woman as gathered from the testimony. (Colonel Waddell then
read the testimony of. Mrs. Perkinson). Harassed by poverty —
seeing not far from her door that gaunt spectre in whose pres-
ence the stoutest heart will quail — with her husband unem-
ployed, and knowing not where to turn for help — she goes to
Dr. Grissom and with tearful pleadings appeals to him to give
her husband work by which he might feed his little ones.
Unable to resist her earnest prayers, and yielding to the better
instincts of his nature, he complies with her request — and if he
had dismissed her with words of kindness only it would have
saved him a load of misery. But right then and there the
tempter entered into his heart, and drove him to the first act of
what he hoped would be a career of pleasure, but which has proved
to be a tragedy. It whispered to him, " Now is your time to feel the
way; kiss her through sympathy and if she takes it kindly you
can kiss her again, and go on kissing her.". He did kiss her
through sympathy, as she thought, and as he says, and receiving
no rebuke for it, he felt that the case started out well and there
was a good time ahead of him; but
"Oh! what a tangled web we weave
When first we practice to deceive."
It was the Genesis of an Iliad of woes for him. I will not
go over all the story told by Mrs. Perkinson. You remember
it, and the miuutfeness with which Mrs. Perkinson gave her evi-
dence, and you also remember — what is quite as important —
her demeanor on the witness stand ; and you cannot forget that
a large number of highly respectable witnesses gave her not only
a good character, but a remarkably high character from her
childhood to this hour. Several gentlemen who knew her when
they were students at Wake Forest College and she was at Mrs.
Piirefoy's school testified that she was always remarked upon for
her singular modesty and lady-like deportment, and some of
them, especially Mr. Holding and Mr. Denmark, said they
knew her general character to be as good now as it was then,
the latter saying that it was as good as that of any lady in
And yet, gentlemen, you saw the pitiful attempt made in her
case, as in that of other important witnesses, to discredit her and
make it appear that she, too, was swearing to a lie. The only
witness was an old lady who disliked Mrs. Perkinson's family
because her brother had run away with and married the old
lady's daughter. This old lady said she didn't think Mrs.
Perkinson's character was very good, and was allowed to leave
the witness stand without cross-examination, because we knew
what we could prove to the contrary. The last witness, you
will remember, said that only last Sunday he heard a large
number of the women at the church where Mrs. Perkinson used
to attend expressing astonishment that any one should assail her
You have no right to consider what counsel said he expected
to prove by a witness about Mrs. Perkinson, because the testi-
mony was excluded". Counsel ought not to have said it, but as
he did, I will say that I am authorized to assert that if the wit-
ness had sworn to it he would have lied.
Well, here, gentlemen, you have a woman who has proved as
.good a character as any lady in North Carolina, swearing that
Dr. Grissom, after kissing her, as she thought, through sym-
pathy for her distress (which he admits to be true), tried after-
wards to take liberties with her— and Dr. Grissom swearing
that it is absolutely false. I do not care to dwell on this speci-
fication farther than to say that I never in my life saw a woman
on the witness stand whose whole conduct and demeanor was
more modest and lady-like, whose story was told with more
simple naturalness, and who sustained herself better under a
severe cross-examination than Mrs. Perkinson did. She is a
poor woman who makes an honest living by hard work, and is
respected by her neighbors, according to the testimony. If she
has told the truth, is it not doubly hard on her and doubly
infamous in Dr. Grissom to first attempt to seduce her, and, fail-
ing in that, to attempt to blacken her character when she tes-
tifies against him ?
And now, gentlemen, I will proceed to consider the first speci-
fication under the first charge. I confess that there is an inex-
pressible sadness about the case of Miss Burch from any point
of view, and there are horrors suygesled by it that are enough to
sicken the soul. In dealing with it I realize the impotency of
any language at my com maud. I feel as if I was entering a
charnel house, and being forced to commit an act of desecration,
and this, too, upon any theory of the evidence. And yet, gen-
tlemen, I cannot drive away the thought which haunts me that if
she is conscious of these proceedings, which God forbid, even the
shame with which they will overwhelm her will be swallowed up
in the satisfaction of knowing that retribution has overtaken him
who wrought her ruin. How lame, and how poor and weak is
the story told by the accused to explain away the evidence of
Mr. King and Emanuel Jones and Mr. West in regard to what
occurred in the matron's bedroom ! Having listened to all they
said before going himself upon the witness stand, and knowing
that a simple denial would not answer, and having abundant
time to invent a theory and abundant capacity to do so, he tells
a tale that he thinks will fit the facts sworn to.
Ah ! gentlemen, it was ingenious, but it will not do. It lacks
those elements of probability which are absolutely necessary to
carry conviction against such direct and positive testimony.
Let us dissect this story. He says this poor lady consulted
him as to a complaint iucident to her sex ; that he had reason to
attribute it to a certain cause which required a private examina-
tion ; that he made other examinations, generally in the matron's
room, the matron sometimes being present in the adjoining room,
and sometimes not; that he applied the necessary remedy and
relieved the trouble to some extent, but not entirely, and that
he never committed the act with which he is charged in regard
You will observe that, according to this statement, the wit-
nesses (King, Jones and West) are corroborated, so far as their
evidence as to Dr. Grissoni's and Miss Burch's visits to the
matron's room is concerned, and also as to the matron's absence
at the time, because he admits that his private examinations
of Miss Bureh generally occurred in the matron's room, and
that sometimes the matron was absent. There is no con-
flict between their testimony and his as to those two facts. On
the contrary, his admission directly supports what they said. So
that out of the three facts, viz.: that they went together to the
matron's room, that she was absent, and that the occurrence took
place there, two are proven ; and as to the other fact — the act
done- — we have the oaths of two eye-witnesses against the oath
of the party charged with the act, aud, of course, vitally inter-
ested in disproving it.
Now the rules of evidence and the dictates of common sense
demand that unless it has been shown that Mr. King and
Emanuel Jones are wholly unworthy of credit — »that they ought
not and cannot be believed on oath when testifying to a fact
which they say they saw with their own eyes, and in regard to
which there appears no motive for them to swear falsely — this
Board or any other tribunal before which such testimony is de-
livered would not be justified in refusing to believe it.
Is there any evidence before you to show that Mr. King is a
man who is unworthy of credit? On the contrary, has he not
proved by some of the most respectable citizens of the State that
he is a man of unimpeachable character? He is, to be sure, only
a poor mechanic who makes an honest living by the sweat of his
brow, and perhaps it may be a great crime for an humble man
like him to testify against a man of influence and power like Dr.
Grissom; but he was a brave Confederate soldier who fought
four years for the honor of North Carolina, and his neighbors
and all who know him say he is honest and truthful, and that no
mau can impeach him on that score.
One ground of attack on him by counsel was, that seeing a sus-
picious state of things, he took the only means of verifying his
suspicions by peeping through a key-hole, and they denounce
such conduct as incompatible with the character of an honest and
truthful man. Counsel grew eloquent in their scorn of such an
act, and said that no man who will do it is worthy of belief under
oath, and yet I venture to say that they would not apply that
rule to every adulterer, for instance. But which of the two
acts is it that necessarily makes its perpetrator a liar? It is no
crime, it is no violation of law, human or divine, to peep through
a key-hole, but it is a violation of both human and divine law
to commit adultery. If, therefore, adultery does not disqualify
a man to speak the truth (and counsel will not say that), why
should peeping through a key-hole do so? It will not do to say
that although Mr. King proves as good a character for truth and
honesty as any man can, yet you must believe that 'he has come
here and perjured his soul simply and solely because, suspecting
a wrong, he peeped through a key-hole to ascertain the truth of
his suspicion. It was not polite or refined to do it, to be sure,
and probably neither of you would do it, but it is not a crime,
and it doesn't follow that because King did it he cannot be be-
lieved on oath, notwithstanding he has proved a good character.
But they say it was a physical impossibility for King and the
boy Jones to see what they said they saw; and counsel got an ex-
pert to come here and examine the locality about dusk one
evening last week, and to take measurements from the key-hole,
and so forth. They introduced the expert (Mr. Ashley) and
his drawings with an air of satisfaction that was pleasant to be-
hold, and they questioned him minutely as to the lines of vision
from the key-hole, and how much of the bed in the matron's
room could be seen, and the like. But when my associate
finished cross-examining Mr. Ashley and you had all gone to
the key-hole, and looked for yourselves, how much was left of
the argument about the physical impossibility of seeing such an
occurrence as King and the boy swore to? Not a shred. They
said King could not possibly have seen from the stage, whether
the door of the matron's sitting-room was open or shut, and
that he couldn't hear it shut from there; and yet the expert
said that, although he thought upon his examination late iu the
evening that such was the case, he found upon second trial, at a
different time of day, that both were quite possible. According
to the careful measurements of their own expert, too, it ap-
peared that the least space on the bed visible from the key-
hole was 11 \ inches near the foot, and the greatest space (I be-
lieve) Tl\ inches in the middle of the bed, as placed now.
This would have been amply sufficient for the sight King said
he saw, but it appears that the bed was a small iron one on
rollers, and nobody can say that it might not have been ex-
actly in the position described by the witnesses, which was just
as probably its position as any other. But you all have in-
spected the premises for yourselves; you have examined with
your own eyes, and there is not a member of the Board who
does not know perfectly well that so far from being a physical
impossibility it was a very easy matter for a man looking
through the key-hole to ascertain in a second what was going on
in that room. Do you believe that, without motive to do
such a thing, a man who can prove a good character would
come before this Board, or any other tribunal, and deliberately
swear to a lie for the purpose of ruining an innocent man?
What motive has been shown in this case? None whatever.
The only attempt to show a motive in King that has been
made was so utterly inadequate to that purpose as to excite a
smile. It was this : that just before these charges were filed, in
an interview with Dr. Grissom, and when the latter had per-
sisted in asking him a question many times over, King got mad
and told him he must not ask him again! And you are asked
to believe from this that a sufficient motive existed to induce
King to come here and commit perjury by swearing to a fact
which never occurred !
Much is made of the fact that King signed a paper saying
that he knew of no immorality committed by Dr. Grissom.
King swore that the part about immorality was not id the paper
when signed by him, and in corroboration of this I want to
read to you what Dr. Grissom himself swore to. (Colonel Wad-
dell here read Dr.-Grissom's testimony as to the interview be-
tween King and himself).
Now, if King had already signed the paper saying he saw no
immorality, why did Dr. Grissom afterwards continue to ask him
if he said he had seen none? And why did King avoid
the question? And, when King said that he would "tell
about it when this thing blows over," why did Dr. Gris-
som say, "It might be too late"? Why was he so anxious
about getting a verbal answer to the particular matter about
immorality and not about any other part of the paper if he
already had it down in black and white over King's own signa-
ture? Why did not King say, "You already have my statement
to that effect in writing, and what are you asking me about it
again for?" And why did he refuse to answer? And why did
Grissom think he was bullying him? And why did he talk
about killing King? The answer to these questions is apparent.
It is that King, knowing there was nothing about immorality in
the paper which he signed, and, being again subjected to ques-
tions about it after refusing to answer in the first instance, be-
came naturally indignant and demanded that Grissom should
stop his questions. And here, according to Grissom's own testi-
raony, occurred one of the most remarkable illustrations of the
fable of the wolf and the lamb that ever happened. An em-
ployee is sent for by the most absolute autocrat in North Caro-
lina to come to his office, and upon his arrival there is plied with
questions about that autocrat's moral conduct. He is told there
might be bloodshed, but declines to answer, and finally tells the
autocrat that he had already asked the same question four times,
and he wanted him to stop, and thereupon the autocrat says,
" You are trying to bully me, and if you do I will kill you!"
Why, gentlemen, it is true that Dr. Grissom, like him of old, is
a man in authority, and saith unto this man "go," and he goeth,
and to that woman "come," and she cometh, but the Czar of
Russia himself couldn't do an act of more absolute despotism
than to threaten to kill a man because he declined to answer
questions, especially if the man knew that a truthful answer
would give mortal offence.
Another hope that counsel seemed to indulge was that they
had caught King flatjy contradicting himself by saying at one
time that there was no one else on the third floor of the build-
ing at the time he saw Miss Burch and Grissom go into the
matron's room, and at another time saying that he saw the boy
One of the newspapers did report King as saying there was
no one else on the floor, but the stenographer's report shows
that he did not say "floor" but "stage" — that there was no one
else on the stage but himself at the time — and Mr. King was
recalled to correct the newspaper report, and not to correct any-
thing he said.
Now, how are you going to get rid of Mr. King's testimony,
corroborated as it is by the boy (Jones) in every particular, cor-
roborated by Mr. West as to the visits to the matron's room ou
two occasions under exactly similar circumstances, and corrobo-
rated by Dr. Grissom's own confession that he and Miss Burch
went there more than once in the absence of the matron? Of
course, if you are going to start out with the proposition that
everybody except Dr. Grissom has lied, you can get rid of it
very easily ; but by what right and upon what theory can you say
I do not choose to repeat the details of King's testimony as
to what he saw. You all remember them, and you know that
they are utterly irreconcilable with the theory that Dr. Grissom
was making an examination. In the first place every physician
on this Board knows very well that it is not only not at all neces-
sary, but is not at all usual — in fact, that it rarely or never hap-
pens that any lady, particularly a -respectable single woman,
should be subjected to any exposure, much less to such as was
testified to by Mr. King, in order to discover what Dr. Grissom
said he thought was the matter with Miss Burch, or to remedy
it; and any physician who would be guilty of such brutality is
unfit to practice that glorious and honorable profession. No,
gentlemen, that suggestion, which is the only one offered to ex-
plain this transaction, is palpably a false one. It will not do;
it is too thin. There is no alternative for you. Either Mr.
King, a man of proven truthfulness, whose character has not
been and cannot be impeached, has come here and, without any
motive for so doing, deliberately and maliciously sworn to a lie,
or else Dr. Grissom is guilty of this specification, and if he is
that ends this case. But there is quite as strong evidence, out-
side of what King and the other witnesses swore to, and this evi-
dence is furnished by Dr. Grissom himself and by two of his
own witnesses, namely, Mrs. Burch, the mother, and Mrs.
Sechrest, the sister, of Miss Burch. I was touched deeply when
that old lady, with child-like simplicity and faith in the story
she had been made to believe, described her daughter's condition
before she came to this institution, and when she visited her home
in December last, and when she had become insane. She and
her daughter, Mrs. Sechrest, supposing that they were strength-
ening Dr. Grissom's testimony, said that Miss Burch was suffer-
ing from the complaint described by him when she visited her
home last December, and also when they came down here to see
her after she became insane, and yet Dr. Grissom certified over
his own signature, when Miss Burch was committed as an in-
sane patient, that she was not in that condition. The history
of a patient's antecedents, when committed to an asylum, is re-
quired to be given with the most minute details, and for the
very plain reason that it is necessary to a full understanding
of the case and its consequent proper treatment. Now, you all
know that there is no more common cause of insanity among
women than a trouble of this kind, and it was, therefore, of
vital importance, if she was then afflicted in that way, or even
if she had recently been afflicted in that way, that the suoer-
intendent of the asylum to which she was sent should be ad-
vised of it. And yet when Dr. Grissom came to act officially
in her commitment he said not one word about such a trouble,
but, on the contrary, certified that her condition in that respect
was "regular." (Colonel Waddell here read the certificate).
You will remember that, in order to avoid the suspicion
which would naturally arise from the fact that he alone examined
her, and that he alone visited her after her seclusion, he said
that Dr. Burke Haywood was called in as consulting physician,
and also Dr. Hubert Haywood, but mark the fact that although
he says he discovered her insanity on the last day of February
it was not until about the first of April that Dr. Haywood
was called in; that Dr. Haywood never sat more than a few
minutes at a time, coming twice a week ; that he made no exami-
nation beyond feeling her pulse and only treated her medicinally.
Mark, further, that although Dr. Grissom says that she had
contracted the opium habit, yet after she became insane, accord-
ing to Mrs. Burch, she suddenly exhibited a horror of any kind
of opiate, and even refused to take medicine that looked like it
had laudanum in it.
Gentlemen, since the world began, was it ever heard of that a
victim of opium or chloral, so confirmed in the habit as to become
insane from its use, suddenly quit and refused to take it, even
when administered by a physician? I refuse to swallow any
such statement. The only evidence that was offered to show that
she had this habit was the declaration of Dr. Grissom that the
poor woman, after she became insane, and while suffering from
acute mania, told him so, and the statement of her mother that
she subsequently told her the same thing. And yet we are asked
to believe that she suddenly so mastered this most enslaving of all
habits that she not only stopped using any kind of opiate but
exhibited the most intense aversion to it. It is barely possible
that.sotnc member of the Board., may believe this, but,'if so, he
will be the only man in North Carolina who will. So much for
the case of Miss Burch, wronged and ruined woman, over whose
memory of the past the Hand of Mercy has drawn the curtain
The counsel who addressed you yesterday said the " manhood
of North Carolina stands for Nora Burch, the widow's daughter."
"I thank thee, Roderick, for the word."
The manhood of North Carolina does stand for Nora Burch,
the widow's daughter. It stands with crest uplifted, and right-
eous wrath blazing from its eye, and be the judgment of this tri-
bunal what it may, its voice will soon be heard like the leaping
of the live thunder amid the crags, and in the sound of tliat
voice there will be terror for him who has dared or who shall
dare henceforth to do the deed which robbed the widow's daugh-
ter of her most precious jewel, aud then drove her into a mad-
Counsel asked if she is to have no one to speak for her. Aye,
the manhood of North Carolina stands for Nora Burch, the
widow's daughter, and it will " plead trumpet-tongued against
the deep damnation of her taking off." Humbly claiming to
represent some part, however small, of that manhood, I will
speak for her, poor, afflicted and benighted soul, and I ask you
in the name of God and of an insulted and outraged people to
vindicate the wrongs of which she has been the victim, and by
your verdict to set the seal of your aud their condemnation upon
him who in my heart and soul I believe to be the author of all
And now, gentlemen, I bid you farewell, and leave you to the
discharge of the great and solemn duty which rests upon you,
and for the performance of which fearlessly and justly in the
sight of Him who searcheth the hearts of men, that great jury
of the people of North Carolina, to whom the counsel have
alluded,' wait with absolute confidence.
SPIER WHITAKER, ESQ.,
Of Counsel for Prosecution,
TRIAL OF Dr. EUGENE GRISSOM,
Supt. of the A r . C. Insane Asylum,
JULY 17th, 1889.
E. M. UZZELE, STEAM PRINTER AND BINDER.
NORTH CAROLINA STATE LIBRARY.
Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Board:
William- P. Letch worth, President of the New York Board
of Charities, iu an interesting volume, entitled the " Insane
in Foreign Countries," says :
" The discardal of old and cruel forms of restraint has been shown to be
conducive to the recovery of the curable and to the comfort and happiness of
the incurable insane. Freed from his bonds, with opportunities for recre-
ation and employment, the patient who, in former times, would have been a
constant source of anxiety to those having him in charge, is now tractable
and even serviceable in lessening the pecuniary burden consequent upon his
care. To maintain the system which produces this result, however, is a
work that taxes all the ingenuity and resources of an intelligent and expe-
rienced medical staff, supported by well trained attendants. They must be
ever vigilant to win the patient gradually to ways of gentleness if he be vio-
lent, and to arouse his energies and sympathies if he be melancholic.
" The appliances for mechanical restraint were not found in foreign
asyiums to the extent expected. The crib was nowhere seen and my inquiry
for it in some instances was met by a look of surprise. Restraining chairs
were sometimes observed, but muffs and gloves were only occasionally seen
in use, and it was said that when they were put on it was usually for sur-
gical reasons. Padded rooms for the seclusion of maniacal patients were
found in many of the British institutions. The number of such rooms, always
few, varies. In some parts they are losing favor. It was generally asserted
that chemical had not taken the place of mechanical restraint.
" From my observations in asylums in Great Britain and in this country
I should say that, on the whole, there was less restraint there than here,
notwithstanding the fact that in many asylums in the United States it may
be said to be virtually discarded. There can be no question that the theory of
non-restraint, once so thoroughly resisted, is now coming to be universally
accepted, and the extent to which it has been adopted in recent years in our
asylums leads to the belief that the time is not far distant when what is com-
monly understood as non-restraint and the open-door system will be put in
practice to a greater extent in this country than it now is in Great Britain or
on the Continent.
" In many of the British asylums it is the rule that, in case it becomes
necessary to use personal force to remove a patient, a sufficient number of
attendants shall be called in to accomplish the object without having a doubt-
ful struggle. The fact thus made apparent that opposition would be useless
frequently causes the patient to make no resistance whatever, and the de-
sired change is effected without disturbance. An acute case, when violent
and excited, is placed in exclusive charge of two experienced attendants,
who give the patient several hours' daily exercise in the open air and watch
him carefully in the wards until his excitement subsides and one person can
assume the care of him. Finally the other special attendant is relieved and
the case receives ordinary attention." ,
The same author, in speaking of the necessity for intelligent
and faithful attendants, says :
"An attendant who does not look upon a person mentally diseased with
the same sympathy as he looks upon one bodily sick has a wrong conception
of his relations to the patient, and is likely to be cruel when meaning only to
be just. It should never be overlooked by those in charge of the insane that they are
not responsible for their acts, and may be entirely unconscious of what they are doing.
Failing to realize this, abusive language and personal indignities, directed
to the attendant, awaken his. resentment and a desire to discipline the patient.
Hatred is thus inspired, and a permanent barrier is created between them.
If the attendant would keep in mind the golden rule — ' Do unto others as ye
would that they should do unto you' — and imagine himself in the patient's
place, and how he would like to be treated if similarly situated, much cruelty
would be avoided and more of the insane would recover. The law of kind-
ness is universal and is as applicable in the treatment of the insane as in the treat-
ment of any other of the helpless classes, and should be the guiding principle in their
care. Though its influence may not be immediately perceptible, its subtle
power gradually wins its way, producing quietness where there was violence
and disturbance, and developing self-control in both attendant and patient.
" As great suffering may result to the insane from neglect as from inten-
tional cruelty or systematic severity. It is much easier to seclude or confine
a man when restless or violent than it is to make some effort to employ him
or divert his thoughts from real or imaginary troubles. Separated from the
world as he is, it rests with the attendant to soothe and comfort, or through indiffer-
ence, incompetency, or acts of petty tyranny, to exasperate and make the daily life of
a patient unendurable, thus deepening the dark shadows that have gathered around his
Mr. Clark Bell, President of the Medico-Legal Society of
New York, in an article published in the "Medico-Legal Jour-
nal" of March, 1887, quotes Dr. Wm, A. Hammond as saying
that the crib is barbarous and inhuman, and the bed-strap as bad,
or almost as bad, as the crib, with this difference — that a patient
may be strapped in a sitting posture, while in a crib, no matter
how much blood there is in a patient's head, he is obliged to lie
down. And Dr. W. J. Morton is of the same opinion. And
the English Lunacy Commission, Lord Ashley, Chairman, says:
" Whatever may be the means or forms of control exercised over the per-
sons of the patients, or whatever the degrees in which the application of this
control may be varied in different asylums, we have the gratification of report-
ing that in every public and private asylum in the kingdom, which is well
managed, bodily restraint is not permitted, except in extreme cases and under
the express sanction of a competent superintendent. The unanimous opinion
of the medical officers and superintendents of these public and private asy-
lums is that the diminution of restraint in the treatment of lunatics has not
only lessened the sufferings, but has improved the general health and condi-
tion, as well as promoted the comfort of the insane. *•.#*,-.
"The medical officers and superintendents who adhere to the system of ab-
solute non-coercion, never using mechanical restraint, even in case of extreme
"1. That their practice is most humane and most beneficial to the patient,
soothing instead of coercing him during irritation, and encouraging him when
tranquil to exert his faculties in order to acquire complete self-control;
"2. That a recovery thus obtained is likely to be more permanent than a
recovery obtained by other means; and that in case of a tendency to relapse
the patient will, of his own accord, be more likely to endeavor to resist anv
return of his malady;
"3. That mechanical restraint has a bad moral effect; that it degrades the
patient in his own opinion; that it prevents any exertion on his part; and
thus impedes his recovery;
"4. That experience has demonstrated the advantage of entirely abolishing
restraint, inasmuch as the condition of some asylums where it had been pre-
viously practiced in a moderate and very restricted degree has been greatly
improved, with respect to the tranquillity and the appearance of cheerfulness
among the patients in general, after all mechanical coercion has been discon-
"5. That mechanical restraint, if used at all, is liable to great abuse from
keepers and nurses, who will often resort to it for the sake of avoiding trouble
to themselves; and who, even when well disposed towards the patient, are not
competent to judge of the extent to which it ought to be applied;
"6. That the patient may be controlled as effectually without mechanical
restraint as with it; and that the only requisites for enabling superintendents
of asylums to dispense with the use of mechanical restraint are a greater num-
ber of attendants and a better system of classification amongst the patients;
and that the additional expense thereby incurred ought nof to form a consid-
eration where the comfort of the patients is concerned."
Dr. Bl inner, Superintendent State Asylum at Utica, is of the
"The idea of a corporal punishment of -the insane is an outrage upon our civil-
ization. An attendant or superintendent who under any circumstances strikes
an insane patient should be at once discharged arid then punished,"
says Mr. Clark Bell.
Mr. Bell further says :
"As to the care and treatment of the insane, the advance has been stead}',
pronounced and healthful. We observe as to mechanical restraint in asylums
the superintendents, one after another, are discarding cribs, muffs, camisoles
and the various implements so much in vogue in the quite recent past. No
superintendent within our knowledge has made the trial seriously and in good
earnest vv.ho has not succeeded. None who have succeeded have returned and
gone back to their use. The success of those whe have, year after year, in the
larger institutions, gone on without resorting to it kindles a flame whose bril-
liant and beautiful light shines into every asylum in the land. It is a light of
beneficence, of kindliness, of gentleness, of love and blesses alike those who
wait upon and keep its lustre undimmed and visible, and the darkened minds
on whom it shines. It glorifies the giver and the receiver. Long before the
end of the nineteenth century all there will be left of mechanical restraint in
America will be its terrible traditions, and we will read of the chains and
other instruments used in American institutions as we now do in the parlia-
mentary reports of Great Britain and of their counterpart there in the first
half of the present century."
Dr. Wm, A. Hammond, in speaking of asylums, says:
"As a rule, I believe these institutions are well conducted, and that there
is a growing tendency in some of them to do away, as far as is at present
deemed expedient, with certain forms of mechanical restraint which are con-
trary to the principles of sound psychological medicine. That some super-
intendents conduct their institutions upon a better system than others is of
course to be expected, and that success is, to a great extent, due to the char-
acter of this system is very evident."
Here follow some criticisms upon the management of the Ral-
eigh Asylum in particular, but owing to the unfriendly relations
then existing between Dr. Hammoud and Dr. Grissom I will
omit what he has to say with regard to him.
In a lecture, delivered by Dr. Hammond before the Connec-
ticut Medical Society, May 29, 1879, on the "Construction,
Organization and Equipment of Hospitals for the Insane," in
speaking of the crib, he says :
"Into this receptacle, the maniac, whose cerebral blood-vessels are gorged
with blood, and whose whole aspect is that of a person suffering from cerebral
hypraemia or congestion, is put, stretched out at full length with less than a
foot of space between his body and the top, anti of course unable to sit up or to
assume any other position than the recumbent. Is it a matter for surprise that
patients have died suddenly while subject to such restraint? Why, it is only a lit-
tle better than.'hanging them up by the heels."
The Superintendent of Poughkeepsie Asylum, Dr. Cleveland,
dispensed with cribs in 1877; also Dr. Chapin, Superintendent
of Willard Asylum, New York.
Dr. Morse, Superintendent of Dayton, Ohio, Asylum, is op-
posed to mechanical restraint. "Neurological Contributions,"
Dr. Blumer, Superintendent of State Lunatic Asylum at
Utica, New York, says':
"Under the old system of care, with mechanical restraint and the imposi-
tion of. needless restrictions upon individual liberty, the attendant was often-
times little more than a turnkey, and took little pains to individualize his
patients. An especially troublesome man was restrained on the earnest re-
quest of the attendant, who, in this respect, soon acquired all the arts of a
special pleader, and there was an end, for the time being, to his anxiety and
annoyance from that source. What was the effect upon the patient? In-
creased maniacal disturbance, due to the attempted' mechanical suppression of
a symptom of his disease, increased loss of self-control and self-respect, and a
retarded recovery. How did it affect the attendant? It placed a power in
his hands which he was bound, sooner or later, to abuse. It tended to make him
harsh instead of humane. It made him reckless instead of watchful. It made
him careless in providing occupation for his charge. It prevented the substi-
tution of his intelligence and mother-wit for mechanical means of control. In
fine, the old system stood in the way of individualizing treatment and tended
to stigmatize the patient's disease. Since the beginning of the current year
(1S87) it has been found not only practicable, but decidedly advantageous, to
dispense with all forms of mechanical restraint, such as muffs; camisoles,
wristlets, belts, etc. The transition was not a violent one, for there had been
for years an appreciable diminution, in theiamount used in this hospital. We
had yielded with others to the convictions of personal experience and the in-
fluence of example elsewhere. The conception of what constituted the mini-
mum amount of restraint had become less and less elastic, and we had tacitly,
if not unconsciously, fallen into line with other advanced hospitals of this[char-
acter. The effect on the whole morale of the hospital must be apparent.
"To the most conservative observer the patients are quieter and more con-
tented; the nurses are gentler and more intelligent, and the.entire atmosphere
of the wards is more wholesome:" Manager's report State Lunatic Asylum,
at Utica, N. Y., p. 45.
The Committee cm Lunacy, of Board of Public Charities State
of Pennsylvania, November 10, 1885, says:
" Mechanical restraints have been abundantly proven to be worse than
useless, having been abolished altogether in some hospitals, with the happiest
results. They are usually irritating and degrading to the insane and complicate
This committee, in their report in 1886, says, at page 11a :
"Very little mechanical restraint is used in the hospitals; occasionally it
becomes necessary for surgical reasons to keep bandages and dressings on the
patients, in other cases to prevent injury to the patients themselves, or to other
And in their report for 1888 they say :
" It can hardly be said that mechanical restraint is now used in any pri-
vate or State hospital of this Commonwealth ; occasionally, for surgical reasons,
it may become necessary, or for the prevention of injury to the patients them-
selves, or to other patients; it never is otherwise used."
In the report of Superintendent of Wisconsin State Hospital
for Insane, September SO, 1886, he says :
" One of fhe most important steps ever taken in the management of this
institution was the total abolishment of all mechanical restraint. On 1st August
last I abolished all mechanical restraint, removing from the wards every
crib, muff, belt, camisole, anklet and other form of restraining apparatus.
The result has exceeded my anticipations, and not one case of restraint has
occurred since this system was adopted."
The Superintendent of the Danver Lunatic Hospital (Mass.),
September 30, 1887, at page 16 of his report, says:
"Relating to the employment of restraint and seclusion, I can only say that
patients have been thus treated only when their own and the welfare of others
seem to demand it. Several highly dangerous epileptics have contrrbuted
largely to the list of persons secluded, it being deemed better for such patients
to be alone during their excitement than upon the ward with others. A con-
siderable proportion of the restraint was for surgical reasons, or for the pro-
tection of a few feeble, general paralytics, and was in nearly every instance
only sufficient to control the use of the hands."
The Superintendent of the State of Mississippi Lunatic Asy-
lum, in his report, December 1, 1887, page 6, says:
"But a few years ago the large majority of the superintendents of American
asylums were loath to believe that an insane househojd could be controlled
without a thorough equipment for restraint, believing, unless supplied with
this mechanical outfit, that great means of control and cure had been denied
them ; but how wonderful the change in the past decade, and now in almost all
well-governed asylums scarcely a monument remains of what was formerly
considered a sine qua nan for the successful management of an insane institu-
The Superintendent of the Iowa Hospital for the Insane in
his report, July 1, 1885, says:
" We use only what restraint may seem best for the well-being and safety
of the individual or his associates, always bearing in mind that it is a surgi-
cal appliance, only to be used by the advice of a physician as such a measure,
and never as a punishment."
The Medical Visitors' Report of the Retreat for the Insane
at Hartford, Conn., April 1887, has this language:
"They have often noted the absence of mechanical restraints and the sub-
stitution of personal watchfulness on the part of the attendants as one of the
most praiseworthy advances of the day in the treatment of the insane. "
The Superintendent of the Northern Michigan Asylum for
the Insane in his report, October 21, 1886, says, at page 34:
"No restraints, seclusion or anodynes are, used. It can be truly said that
our household is remarkably free from excitement and irritability. The at-
tendants have experienced but little difficulty in making the most excitable
and nervous patients comfortable. The success of the more recent methods of
caring for the insane principally lies in the absence of all harsh authority.
An authoritative manner towards an irritable insane person, or one who suffers
delusions of suspicion, in no way tends to the development of his powers of
self-control. The substitution of tact for force of any kind, in the treatment
of the insane, will ever lead to the greatest attainable results."
The Superintendent of the Willard Asylum for the Insane,
New York, where there were 1,800 patients, in his report for
the year 1886, at page 16, says:
"There were four individual patients who wore mechanical restraint at some
time during the year. Two were surgical cases, and restraint was applied to
prevent the removal of dressings; one was a powerful woman, who habitually
•assaulted her associates during periods of excitement, and was occasionally
kept to her seat by a belt. The remaining case, a man who had persistent
suicidal tendencies and manged to mutilate himself in ingenious ways, was re-
strained by a. camisole.' Two women wore cloth mittens for a short time on
account of active propensities to destroy clothing."
The Michigan Asylum for Insane in 1886 had almost com-
pletely abandoned the use of mechanical restraint. The Super-
intendent says that acts of violence are far less frequent than
formerly — the patients are more quiet, orderly and cleanly.
Superintendent's report, page 80.
The Superintendent of the Indiana Hospital for the Insane,
in his report to the Governor of the State, says at page 7 :
"It is- a pleasing fact to know that the per cent, of cures among the patients
has increased, and the death rate correspondingly decreased. More people
have been cured during the year and fewer have died compared with the
number of patients under treatment than during any year in the history of
the Hospital. This is largely due to the varied amusements that are in con-
stant use in the institution, together with the non-restraint system that pre-
vails. The minds of the patients are constantly engaged in something pleasing
and they have no fears of being abused by the use of cruel restraints."
In the Athens (Ohio) Asylum for the Insane, as appears by
Superintendent's report for 1886, there was no mechanical re-
straint during the year. No mechanical restraint is used in the
Maryland Hospital for In§ane, the Pennsylvania Hospital for
Insane, the Columbus, Ohio, Asylum for Insane, the Western
North Carolina Insane Asylum, or the State Asylum for Insane
Criminals, at Auburn, N. Y. Hear what the Superintendent
of the Alabama Insane Hospital has to say on this subject in
his report, 30th September, 1886:
" It is very generally known that the system of mechanical restraint has for
five years past been entirely discarded in this institution. And it gives me
great pleasure at the end of another biennial period to re-affirm in the most
emphatic manner all that I have previously claimed in behalf of the new de-
parture. With the exception of the occasional confinement to his room of a
maniacal or excited patient there has positively been no restraint of any kind
imposed upon our patients. No advance that has been made in the treatment
of the insane within the past fifty years has, in my judgment, accomplished
better and more far-reaching results than the abolition of mechanical and
oth^r unnecessary restraint. It has been argued by some who are not pre-
pared to proceed to the extremes that we advocate that in the absence of all
mechanical restraints it becomes necessary in the treatment of the destructive,
violent and suicidal insane to resort either to the administration of danger-
ous narcotics or tp close and prolonged confinement. Our five years' experi-
ence has not borne out the truth of this statement, as I am prepared to prove.
Out of a daily average of 722 patients during the past year the total number
secluded were only 37, of whom 18 were men and 19 were women. The total
number of hours were for the men, 204, for the women, 326. There are weeks
and even months at a time when no patient has been secluded or placed in
solitary confinement, a result which was never obtained under the old coercive
system. In the matter of medical or chemical restraint, as it is called, it is a
fact that less narcotic medicines are given now tnan at any previous period in
the history of the Hospital. I do not misstate the case when I say ' that our
consumption of hyoscyamin, a. very common as well as safe and effectual hyp-
notic and quieting drug, does not exceed half a dozen grains during the whole
"The great changes which have taken place in the characteristics of the Hos-
pital — in the quietness that pervades the wards, the tranquillity and content-
ment of the patients, and the confidence and good-will with which they regard
their officers and nurses, are very striking when compared with the noise,
restlessness, ill-will and suspicion that prevailed under the old system of
restraints. That this manifest improvement is largely, if not entirely, due to
the substitution of the more natural and rational methods of discipline for the
too often arbitrary and cruel use of mechanical apparatus there is hardly room
for a reasonable doubt. It is gratifying to record that restraint of all kinds
has been greatly reduced in all of our best managed hospitals for the insane, and
that in its most objectionable forms it is now seldom, or never, resorted to by
them except in those extreme cases where the life or safety of the patient or
others is supposed to be in jeopardy. I am glad to say that we have never
met with such extreme cases in our past five years' experience, although we
frequently encountered them before, and we have pretty much reached the
conclusion that the remedy itself does more to produce than to prevent them."
The English statute on this subject, enacted by Parliament in
1853, makes it a misdemeanor for any superintendent, officer,
nurse, attendant, servant, or other person employed in any asy-
lum for the insane, to strike, wound, ill-treat, or wilfully neg-
lect any lunatic confined therein.
I hope the time will come when the people of North Carolina
will show their humanity by passing similar laws.
Here in this grand old institution — the pride and boast of
every true-hearted North Carolinian — yes, right here in the midst
of our boasted civilization — in the very sight of the capitol,
death to one of his patients, as we expect to prove, has resulted
from the cruel and inhuman treatment of this " father of the
unfortunate," as Dr. Grissom is called by his counsel.
Oh, that he had learned from that big-hearted, sweet singer
of the North, that
" Gentle as angels' ministry
The gniding hand of love should be,
Which seeks again those chords -to bind
Which human woe hath rent apart,
• To heal again the wounded mind,
To bind anew the broken heart ! "
Before I begin to review the testimony of the witnesses exam-
ined before you I desire to read to you some letters introduced
by the counsel for the defence, but not read by them.
Dr. G. H. Hill, of the Iowa Hospital for the Insane, Inde-
pendence, Iowa, says:
"We have -always used mechanical restraint in this institution to a limited
extent. We have now 770 patients in the house — about an equal number of
each sex. Last week one man was restrained every day by means of a leather
cuff about one wrist and a strap connecting this with a stationary bench.
This man has an inordinate propensity to break glass and cut himself, but he
is good-natured and does not object to being restrained. He is not restrained
when out of doors, where he is a good share of the time at this season of the year
nor at night. Among the women one was restrained every day of the week,
and another five days out of the seven. This is all, and a fair showing of the
amount of restraint ordinarily used in this institution. While some institu-
tions advocate the use of non-restraint, yet they are still in the minority in
this country, and I am not yet disposed to place myself in a position where I
cannot use mechanical restraint under any circumstances, since it would be
wrong to do so after a man has announced to the public that he does not mean
to longer use restraint of any kind."
Here is an insane man who has an inordinate propensity to
break glass and cut himself. Is he strapped flat on his back to
a bed stead ? No ! He is simply restrained by means of a leather
cuff about one wrist and a strap connecting this to a stationary
The defendant's counsel have harped upon the fact that Up-
church and Bamett and Smith belong to a class termed by them
"the criminally insane," and argue that in the treatment of such
men he was justified in using any means he chose, however
harsh, in order to make "deep mental impressions upon them."
But see what a prominent superintendent 'of an asylum for the
criminal insane has to say in one of these letters introduced by
Dr. Carlos F. MacDonald, State Asylum for Insane Crimi-
nals, Auburn, N. Y., says:
"The question of use or non-use of mechanical restraint in the care of the
insane is, in my opinion, purely a medical one, to be determined by the judg-
ment of the superintendent, in whom is properly vested the direction of the
medical and moral treatment of his patients. Authorities are, as you know,
divided on this question, just as they are on the use or non-use of certain
drugs in the treatment of their patients, some eschewing the use of restraint,
while other? equally competent, humane and sympathetic conscientiously be-
lieve in and advocate its use in certain cases. We no longer restrain in this
asylum, having discontinued it absolutely more than eight years ago and we
feel that we get on better without it. "
Gentlemen, you will observe that Dr. MacDonald, the super-
intendent of an asylum where none are allowed but such as are
known as the criminal insane, says that the question of the use
or non-use of mechanical restraint in the care of the insane "is
purely a medical one," and he also says : " for more than eight
years it has been absolutely discontinued, and we feel that we
get on better without it." There is not a word said about strap-
ping being used to create "deep mental impressions," nor of any
one being strapped to impress upon him the impropriety of
cursing the superintendent.
Dr. Henry M. Hurd, Eastern Michigan Asylum, Pontiac,
"As to the general inquiries in your letter, I would say that although I do
not believe in the use of mechanical restraint as a system, and constantly dis-
courage its application, I am free to say that there are emergencies arising in
the treatment of mental disease which are better met by the application of
mechanical restraint than by any other mode of procedure."
Dr. Geo. C. Palmer, Michigan Asylum for the Insane, Kala-
mazoo, Michigan, writes as follows :
"As you may be aware, I am a believer in non-restraint, as a rule, in our in-
stitutions; bul experience has shown me — as I think to most superintendents —
that a few cases are met with that cannot be dealt with as well in any other
way as by the use of mechanical restraints. We have always done for our
patients what seemed to be best, without any sentiments on the subject of re-
straints, and that is the case of a homicidal girl, who has made repeated as-
saults with intent to kill."
Dr. Jas. D. Munson, Northern Michigan Asylum, Traverse
City, Michigan, says :
"An experience of ten years in the treatment of the insane has taught me
that thefe are patients who cannot be properly cared for in safety to themselves
and others without the use of mechanical restraints. The extremely violent,
or those with impulses to self mutilation, can scarcely be cared for without
their use. Manual restraints are perhaps of greatest service in most cases, but
in the class of patients to which I refer they are impracticable, for the reason
of the great expense attached to it, and the great danger there is of the
patients' either receiving injuries or inflicting them on their attendants."
Dr. T. J. Mitchell, Mississippi State Lunatic Asylum, Jack-
son, Miss., says :
"In regard to your inquiry, 'Is mechanical restraint ever employed in any
well regulated institutions?' will say that it is not uncommon. I myself am
greatly opposed to mechanical restrant, if possible to avoid it, believing it
quite degrading, but find at times it is quite indispensable to the comfort and
security of the patients, hence when I think it subserves a good purpose
Dr. J. D. Moncure, Eastern Lunatic Asylum, Williamsburg,
Va., writes the following :
" In reply to your inquiry whether mechanical restraints are occasionally
required in American insane asylums, will state that I never visited a single
institution in America where they were not used at times. As for my own
asylum I have earnestly striven to dispense with them entirely for the last five
years, but in spite of all my efforts and my personal conviction that none should
ever be used I have had to resort to them in a certain class of patients whose
disease renders them dangerous to themselves and others."
Gentlemen, I have not read these authorities to prove that be-
cause Dr. Grissom has used mechanical restraint he. should be
turned out, but to offset evidence offered by the respondent and
show that the question of restraint or non-restraint is a dis-
puted one, and that there are many and great men on both sides
of it. I propose to make you, gentlemen of the Board, a fair
argument; in fact, I would be obliged to discuss this question
fairly, whether I were so inclined or not, for before these learned
representatives of medical and legal science deception would be
worse than folly. I shall endeavor to quote nothing incorrectly.
If I should argue, as I said before, that Dr. Grissom should be
turned out of his office because he sometimes used mechanical
restraint I would do so in the very face of your by-laws them-
selves, for they say :
"No attendant shall ever apply any restraining apparatus to a patient ex-
cept by order of the Superintendent, or of a resident officer under ' his direc-
This certainly implies that restraining apparatus may be used
by the Superintendent, or under his orders. But the question is
not whether Dr. Grissom has used mechanical restraint, but
whether he has used it when it was unnecessary and to such ex-
tent as to be cruel.
These by-laws further direct that attendants must act with
patience and kindness and forbearance ! These regulations were
penned by a man who had a heart in him ! And it never occur-
red to such a man that it would be necessary to give instructions
in the simple laws of humanity to the Superintendent and As-
sistant Physicians of this institution — men who, in one of the
noblest callings under Heaven, had consecrated their lives to the
relief of their suffering fellow-beings — not a word do we find as
to their conduct towards patients.
Oh ! how could it have occurred to the author of that little
book, that this humane, big-hearted gentleman, whom his coun-
sel has almost asked you to bow down to and worship, could
ever need such instructions?
"The attendants shall treat the patients with uniform attention and respect,
and greet them with friendly salutations, and exhibit such other marks of
kindness and good-will as evince interest and sympathy. They shall speak
in a mild, persuasive tone of voice, and never address a patient coarsely, or
by a nick-name."
I don't know, gentlemen, what is above — my ideas of
that happy hereafter, I must confess, are not perfectly clear,
and my conception of that awful and mysterious power that
rules the universe is vague at best, but I cannot help feeling
that the great and merciful God himself inspired the writing of
that book just 'as much as he did the works of St. John or St.
Having most probably by this time made up your minds
as to whether mechanical restraint is in itself right or wrong,
and if right, to what extent it should be used, I will leave
that part of the question and discuss the special cases in which
we claim that Dr. Grissom has made use of it to a cruel
and inhuman degree for the purpose of gratifying his personal
animosity and revenge. But allow me to digress a little.
One of the opposing counsel undertook to make you believe
in regard to Upchurch that a full report was made of his case
at the time for the benefit of the Convention of Asylum Super-
intendents, and that Dr. Rogers and Mr. Thompson endorsed
and approved the treatment of him by Dr. Grissom. But let
us see. Dr. Rogers, at that time fresh from college, had just
received his appointment, I am not a physician, but I take it
that it is in medicine as in law, that a young man when he gets
his license has just placed his foot, as it were, on the first step
which leads to the house of knowledge, or in other words, he has
simply laid the foundation on which to build that house.
Dr. Rogers made out the report under the direction of his
superior officer, and Mr. Thompson copied it because he wrote a
better hand, and because, under the by-laws, he was the clerk of
the Superintendent. It contained nothing about the brutal treat-
ment of Upchurch by Dr.'Grissom. " Therefore," say that gentle-
man's counsel, "Dr. Rogers and Mr. Thompson endorsed it" It
is claimed also that the convention endorsed the treatment of
Upchurch. Let me read to you that report written by Dr.
Rogers and copied by Mr. Thompson :
" W. P. Upchurch— Admitted June 12th, 1878; male; single; farmer; is
homicidal— shot his brother and has attempted to kill other people. He has
terrible delusions, connected with other patients, attendants and others;
that his bones, his head, neck, etc., are crushed ; has hallucinations of hear-
ing—hears people talking about him, planning to kill him, etc. On one
occasion he kicked an iron bar out of his window-guard and defied any one to
come to him; is a large, powerful man and exceedingly dangerous; often
wakes up and tears up his bed-clothes, clothing and everything within his
reach. His attacks upon people are sudden and without warning, and except
for restraint would occur at least two or three times a day."
That medical convention endorsed that and nothing more!
Did Dr. Grissom go before that great assemblage and tell those
men of science and philanthropy that he jumped upon a poor,
demented creature while held down by strong men and stamped
him in the face?
Let me read you the words of Dr. Grissom which received
the sanction and applause of the St. Louis Convention :
" For ourselves, my brethren, we stand or fall, not upon the opinions of oth-
ers, but upon the performance of a sacred duty ; not in blind adherence to any
theory, but such as experience may recommend. Let us see, above all
things, that we use and do not abuse any means of treatment God has placed in
our hands for the protection of his stricken creatures, and we may fear not
when they and we come to a final judgment before the Eye that seeth all
Now we will proceed to the dry facts. But first I want to
reply to the declaration of one of the opposing counsel that every-
thing done here has beeu with the sanction and approval of Dr.
What right has he to say so? Many and able lawyers have
been employed to defend Dr. Grissom. They have come from
all parts of North Carolina, and none abler can be found within
its borders. Why, oh! why didn't they put Dr. Fuller on the
stand ? They have asked you to believe that that light which
emanates from the great heart of Dr. Grissom, from the heart
of this humane, this great, tender-hearted philanthropist, this
wonderful man, who is covered all over with honors, is so bright
as to ca*st into the shade, as it were, all other lights which wej in
our ignorance, had thought were showing the way to seekers af-
ter the knowledge of the proper treatment of the insane.
It may be asked why the prosecution did not put Dr. Fuller
on the .stand. Dr. Fuller is a connection of Mr. Thompson,
and his honorable, sensitive nature made him shrink from ap-
pearing on the stand as a witness for his kinsman in a matter of
such deep moment and concern to him. It was out of defer-
ence to his feelings that he was not summoned by the prosecu-
tion. But there was no such difficulty in the way of his testi-
fying for the other side. They knew, we all knew, that come
what might, if Dr. Fuller was put on the stand, he would tell
the truth! I repeat the question, why didn't they do it? I
have a right to believe that they were afraid to do so.
Now let me show you who Dr. Fuller is. He has been con-
nected with this Asylum for more than thirty years, he was here
before the great Grissom came, and he is to-day in the perform-
ance of those duties to which he has devoted almost a life-time.
Hear what Dr. Murphy, the Superintendent of the Western
North Carolina Asylum, says of him:
"Dr. Fuller is without doubt wrapped up in his business and deeply inter-
ested in the welfare of the insane, not only those under his direct charge, but
in the welfare of all. There is no personal sacrifice that he would not make
for them. He is honest and capable, with sound judgment, what we call a
long-headed man, slow to make up an opinion, but when he does arrive at a
conclusion it is nearly always correct and always by using his reasoning pow-
ers. He is never carried away by passion or prejudice, but is deliberate and
cool. His knowledge of asylums and asylum management is enormous. His
best traits are his honesty, his ability to control himself, his passions and
appetites, bis determination, and to always do right for right's sake, regardless
of the opinions of others. No man has ever used him as a tool, and above
everything else he is truly a Christian and a pious man. I would rather have
his commendation as a good asylum manager than any man's I know, for it
would be worth more. He is fully able to form one, and he knows the false
from the genuine. Dr. Fuller is a good man."
I take for granted that Dr. Murphy had never heard of Dr.
He winds up with those pregnant words, " Dr. Fuller is a
good man. " Why didn't they put him on the stand? When
they did not what right have they to argue that he sanctioned all
this? For three long weeks we have been engaged, day after day,
in the investigation of these charges against Dr. Grissom, and
while we have been examining wituess after witness Dr. Fuller
has been passing to and fro along the halls and the wards of this
Asylum in the performance of his duties; and at almost any
hour, upon ten minutes' notice, they could have had Dr. Fuller
before this Board. They sent hither and thither in all directions,
even beyond the borders of the State, for witnesses, and brought
them here at great cost.
If Dr. Fuller approved of Dr. Grissom's treatment oT the
patients; if Dr. Fuller, by his long and intimate knowledge of
the affairs of the Asylum and the conduct of its officers, would
have been able to say that Dr. Grissom was a man of upright
walk and high moral character, why, I again ask, why did not
the counsel for Dr. Grissom put Dr. Fuller on the witness stand.
Counsel says Dr. Grissom owes his promotion to his pamphlet
Bear in mind the title of his pamphlet: "Mechanical Re-
straint as a Protection to the Insane. "
We will now take the cases as they come. I will cite Dr.
Grissom's own testimony.
That of Miss Mary Foy comes first. With regard to her,
two witnesses have testified — Miss Ella N. Edwards and Dr.
Grissom. Wherever the defendant flatly denies the statement
of a witness I give him the benefit of the doubt and pass it by.
MISS MARY FOY.
Miss Ella N. Edwards testifies :
Do you know Miss Mary Foy? A. I do; she was iny patient when I had
charge of the first ward.
How old was she? A. I should say she was about twenty-five or thirty.
How did she behave? A. She always behaved very nicely.
Do you remember any treatment of her by the Superintendent? A. He
came in and said good morning; she did not speak, then he spoke again and
she did not speak, and he asked her if she did not like him; he told her he
was the Superintendent of the institution, and told me to go to the dining-
room and get a dipper of water, and he threw it right in her face, and she
raved and he went out laughing.
That is the story; she had done nothing.
Miss Mary Foy is a daughter of one of the most highly cul-
tivated and refined families in Eastern North Carolina. She
was reared and educated in the midst of luxury, culture and re-
finement. A lady by birth and by education, how terribly mor-
tifying and humiliating such treatment must have been to her !
Dr. Grissom says :
" Mtss Mary Foy was admitted in September, 1888, and was sent home on
probation. She was then discharged and has been re-admitted. She is here
now. She is a patient of many hallucinations. She imagines herself to be
the wife of Dr. Rogers. She had the habit of seizing hold of him when he
came about her. She had a demoralizing influence over other patients. She
is not addicted to fighting. Miss Edwards' testimony as to my treatment of
Miss Foy did not occur. On a different occasion, and not in the presence of
Miss Edwards, I ordered her locked up in a room and threw a dipper of water
in her face for the purpose of impressing her with the impropriety of her conduct.
I have found a certain class of patients who are very hard to impress. Words are
not sufficient. It is necessary to restrain them. This, however, should be re-
sorted to only in cases of necessity. I have frequently resorted to throwing
water in the face for the purpose of producing a menial impression that could
not be done otherwise. In her case there has been a great improvement. She
hardly ever repeats the improper conduct. It was the only time I ever threw
water in her face. It is the usual eustom in all institutions of this kind for
the superintendent to establish and maintain a system of discipline. I do not
remember what attendant was present at the time of the oceurrence. It was
not Miss Edwards. I do not recall any other instance of unusual treatment
to Miss Foy."
" I ordered her locked up in her room and threw a dipper of
water in her face for the purpose of impressing her with the im-
propriety of her conduct! I have found a certain class of pa-
tients who are very hard to impress. I have frequently resorted
to throwing water in the face for the purpose of producing a
mental impression that could not l>e done otherwise."
I, the Czar, the almost god to whom people should bend the
knee in adoration. I, greater than all other alienists, even I,
have found in my long experience that it is necessary to make a
mental impression upon a certain class of patients, and that to
do so it is necessary to dash water in the face, to bind hand and
foot for hours and days until human endurance is exhausted.
True it is that the Board of Directors of this institution have
clearly forbidden any such treatment, and the most enthusiastic
of those alienists who advocate mechanical restraint say that it
should be used only to prevent the patient's doing violence to him-
self or others, and for surgical reasons. True it is that it has never
occurred to the mind of any alienist or philanthropist that these
or similar means should be used as a punishment, or, as I call it,
to make a mental impression, for impropriety of conduct. But
what do they know of these things? What is their little expe-
rience or their small knowledge as compared to that of the great
Grissom, who has ruled supreme in this institution for twenty-
one long years?
Let this or any other insane woman in my keeping, be careful
as to what hallucination possesses her mind ! It is true that Maj.
Guthrie's experience has shown that delusions and hallucinations
take uncontrollable possession of the minds of the insane, and
that though the victim of these hallucinations and delusions is
conscious of them, that it is impossible to prevent or control
them — yet I, the great, tender-hearted philanthropist, as my
counsel calls me, to whom the knee should be bent in adoration,
will not submit to — will not permit to go unpunished — any
woman, no matter how insane she may be, in whose mind dwells
the hallucination of being the wife of that man, whom above all
others I detest, and I will lock her up in her room and dash a
dipper of water in her face in order to .impress upon her the
great impropriety of such hallucination.
Gentlemen, when I reflect upon this testimony, when in my
imagination I see this refined, but poor, unfortunate insane wo-
man standing there in her room cmietly submitting to the in-
dignity of having a dipper of water dashed into her face because
of what s-he could not help, by this man whom the preachers
have described as a tender and solicitous father to the unfortu-
nates in his charge, I have not words to express my deep and
bitter indignation. When these men of God came over here on
Sundays to administer to the insane as much of spiritual
comfort as possible — when they noticed Dr. Grissom's close
attention to their divine services, and when they saw him
with his unfortunates on dress parade, as it were, being good
men themselves, they were easily deceived, and naturally came
to the conclusion that Dr. Grissom was to be compared to a ten-
der-hearted father, solicitous of the welfare and happiness of his
poor, unfortunate children ; but they did not see Dr. Grissom
dashing water in the face of this poor woman — they did
not seen him, red with anger, ordering poor Smith to be
strapped for saying what he could not help; they did not see
him, possessed with rage, stamping with his heels poor Upchurch
on the face and neck, while he was held powerless upon the
floor by strong men. I present to you the picture of Dr. Gris-
som, as drawn by himself — " I threw a dipper of water in her
face for the purpose of impressing her with the impropriety of
her conduct. I have found a certain class of patients who are
very hard to impress. Words are not sufficient. It is neces-
sary to restrain them."
The counsel on the other side have read to you letter after let-
ter addressed to Dr. Grissom by eminent alienists as to the neces-
sity of mechanical restraint, but in all these letters, as well as in
all the writings on this subject which they have read to you there
is not even an intimation that under any circumstances an insane
person should be punished for what he has done. But, says Dr.
Grissom, I do not punish them; I am a tender father to them ; I
would not take a poor insane woman, whose friends are far away
and who is absolutely in my power, and punish her because she,
in her insanity, imagined that my enemy was her husband !
True, that because of this I locked her up in her room and threw
water in her face, but this was done to make a mental impression
upon her as to the impropriety of her conduct !
Remember, gentlemen, that you, too, or some one near and
dear to you, may be sent to this Asylum and assigned to the care
of this "tender-hearted philanthropist." I pray that God in
his mercy may not give you this bitter cup to drink. But this
misfortune may overtake you, and delusions and hallucinations
entirely beyond your control may run wild across your brain,
and amongst these hallucinations there may be one which is
unpleasant to Dr. Grissom. You may &ncy that some enemy
of Dr. Grissom is not the meanest of men, |r you may imagine
that Dr. Grissom is not that pure and moral, that great, illus-
trious and God-like man which the counsel on the other side
have undertaken to make us believe. Far be it from him to
punish you for these things, but he will lock you up and dash water
in your face, or throw you upon the floor and curse you and
choke you .nearly to death to make a mental impression upon
your poor insane mind. For the sake of the argument I will
ask you to discard for the moment the testimony of Miss Ed-
wards and consider that only as worthy of belief which has been
given to you by Dr. Grissom himself. And when you have done
so how can you acquit him of this charge ? I do not appeal to
you to convict him of a charge so serious as this, and one which
if found to be true ought to send him in disgrace from this
Asylum. But when you consider his testimony only how, I ask,
in the name of truth and justice, can you acquit him?
The next case which I shall present to your particular atten-
tion is that of
iMRS. WHALEY AND MRS. OVERMAN.
Miss Ella N. Edwards testifies :
Do you know Mrs. Wlialey and Mrs. Overman? A. Yes, sir; they were
patients on the first ward.
Do yon know whether or not they were violent? A. Mrs. Whaley was vio-
lent; Mrs. Overman was not.
Do you know anything in regard to their treatment? A. One day they
got to quarreling on the ward, and at last one of them hit the other;
I locked them in separate rooms; I reported it to the Superintendent; I
went first to the matron, and then I went to the Superintendent's room and
found her there. I told Dr. Grissom about that ; he said he would go and at-
tend to them; the matron started but said someone called her and went back.
She did not want to be there. Dr. Grissom took them and put them in a strong -
room in the first ward, and told them to fight now as long as they wanted to
and they did fight, and he stood at the trap-door and looked at them and told
them to fight and laughed at them. Then he went on out and told me not to
put it down on my report; one of them had her hair pulled out fearfully ; one
had short hair, and they bruised each other very much.
Now, gentlemen, there is no uncertainty in this testimony of
Miss Edwards. It was printed and went into the hands of Dr.
Grissom early in this trial. Many days afterwards, when Dr.
Grissom went upon the stand, having had abundant time in
which to scrutinize it, he was fully aware of what it contained,
and if it or any part of it was not true he would have squarely
and unmistakably denied it. Hear what he says :
" The allegation that Mrs. Overman and Mrs. Whaley were locked in a room
together and told to fight till they got tired of it is totally untrue. On one
occasion I remember threatening to lock up two patients who had been fight-
ing. I don't remember who they were. I told the attendant in their hearing
to lock them up and let them fight it out. If they were locked up at all they
did not fight and would not have been permitted to fight. Patients have never
fought to my knowledge or consent. Mrs. Overman is a violent patient at
times. She is strong and stout. Mrs. Whaley is a patient who fights a great
deal and is very mischievous. Mrs. Overman has perhaps not improved while
here. Mrs. Whaley has improved and is now easy to manage.
"On one occasion I remember threatening to lock up two patients who had
been fighting; I don't remember who they were; I told the attendant in their
hearing to lock them up and let them fight it out. If they were locked up at
all they did not fight, and would not have been permitted to fight."
He gave these instructions to the attendant, went away and
does not know what happened afterwards. "I told the attend-
ant, in their hearing, to lock them up and let them fight it out."
He does not say that he at the same time whispered to the attend-
ant not to do so. He does not testify that he gave these instruc-
tion^ to the attendant, in the presence of these insane women, in
order simply to frighten them, and that he at the same time told
the attendant not to obey his order, but that having given this
order he went away and does not know what happened ! " If
they were locked up"! Why doesn't he say that they were
not locked up ! Why doesn't he say that the attendant well
understood that they were not to be locked up? Read again
the direct, positive and straightforward testimony of Miss
Edwards, and the dodging, equivocal testimony of Dr. Gris-
som, and then see if, in the mind of any fair man, there can be
any doubt of the truth of this charge.
The next case to which I call your attention is that of
J. A. Tucker testifies :
.. Do You know Zeb. Williams? A. Yes, sir.
Did you ever see him strapped? A. Yes, sir; he was strapped for fighting
another patient who was sleeping in the same room with him.
What was Williams doing at the time he was strapped ? A. He was lying
on the bed quiet.
Was he strapped as a punishment? A. Yes, sir; he was strapped as a pun-
ishment for fighting another patient.
Zeb. Williams is in the institution now, is he? A. Yes, sir.
He has escaped twice, has he not ? A. Yes, sir.
What did you say was done with him ? A. He was strapped to the bed-
stead for fighting another patient.
Mr. Tucker, while on the witness stand, must have made the
impression on you as being a man entirely disinterested and
truthful. He is now chief attendant of the male department,
and would not be permitted to hold this responsible position
unless he was a man of character. Although the country has
been scoured to find witnesses to testify against the character of the
witnesses for the prosecution, and although our witnesses have
been subjected to the most searching cross-examination, not one
word has been heard against the good character or truthfulness
of Mr. Tucker. He therefore stands before you unimpeached
and as in every way worthy of belief. Mr. Tucker swears most
positively that some time after the patient Williams had been
fighting his room-mate, he was strapped under the orders of Dr.
Grissom as a 'punishment for what he had done.
Dr. Grissom testifies in regard to this matter :
"Zeb. Williams is here as a patient; he is excitable; he has never been mis-
treated by me."
He does not deny the testimony of Mr. Tucker, but simply
says, " he was never mistreated by me." He does not even un-
dertake to get rid of the force of this testimony by saying that he
did this to make a mental impression. His majesty seems to think
that it is unbecoming and unnecessary for him to take the trouble
to deny the testimony of a man occupying such humble position as
Mr. Tucker. He simply says, "I never mistreated him." I am
the judge of what is mistreatment; I am the great alienist ! My
long experience has taught me what is proper in the treatment
of the insane, and it is beneath me to undertake to deny or ex-
plain anything that may be charged against me, even though it
be proved by the testimony of an honorable witness.
The next case I will take up is that of
Mr. R. I. Hogan testifies:
Do you remember Mike Cosgrove? (Objection — leave is given to put Cos-
grove's name in specifications and he is added to the specifications).
What kind of a patient was he — was he a violent one or otherwise? A. He
was right easy.
Did you ever see him strapped? A. Yes, sir.
Under whose orders — Dr. Grissom's? A. Yes, sir.
About what time? A. In the latter part of 1885.
For what was he strapped? A, For abusing the Superintendent and curs-
ing him. The Superintendent was coming through the institution where
Cosgrove was and he got to cursing and running around him and he followed
him to the lower end of the hall ; then he was> : ordered to be strapped.
How long was he strapped? A. Until the next morning.
Now with regard to Cosgrove you say that Dr. Grissom came into the ward
and Cosgrove cursed him, and followed him? Yes, sir.
Was he a violent man? A. No, sir ; nothing more than talking.
I ask you whether a man strapped in that way cannot sleep? A. Well if
he was really sleepy he might perhaps a few minutes at the time.
Did these straps hurt the patients? A. It depends upon how tight they
were put on. When patient will lie right still they will not hurt. The object
of strapping is to make them lie still.
There is that poor, insane man strapped to the bedstead all
night long — tied j^and and foot, limbs and body, so that it was
impossible for him to move a single muscle except in turning
his head from side to side, and able, perhaps, to lift his head
for two inches above the pillow. True, he had abused and
cursed the Superintendent, but it is also true that by the dis-
pensation of Divine Providence he could no more control his
words or his actions than he could move a mountain. When a
man learns to control himself then he is no longer insane and
this institution is no place for him.
Strapped ! and asleep ! How could he sleep ! Imagine your-
self under the most advantageous circumstances (circumstances
which, by the way, did not exist in the case of poor Mike Cos-
grove), lying flat on your back upon the most elegant hair mat-
tress w T ith steel springs underneath, a soft and downy pillow,
with your hands fastened across your breast, with straps running,
from each arm around the bedstead, with a strap running around
the middle of your body, a strap around your thighs, a strap
around your legs, with each foot fastened to one of the lower
corners of the bedstead, a strap around the upper portion of
your body near the neck, and all of these straps fastened tightly
to the bedstead so that you would be utterly unable to move a
muscle of your body except to move the head from side to side
and to lift it perhaps two inches from your pillow. Imagine
yourself in perfect health and with strong nerves; place your-
selves, gentlemen, in this position for one hour, and I venture
to say that when you have done so you will have tasted the tor-
tures of purgatory. Go further ; lie in this position for one
night, let your room be as pleasant as possible, let the balmy
breezes fan your fevered brow, and when the bright sun rises in
the east, and throws its first rays into your window — even under
these circumstances, I say, you will have realized that you have
undergone in that one night the sufferings of the damned. Has
he murdered anybody ? Has he committed any arson ? Has
he violated the virtue of any pure woman? No, indeed !
He has done none of these things, but he has cursed the Super-
intendent ! Unpardonable sin ! Under the wise and beneficent
laws of North Carolina, even though he may have violated every
criminal law of the land, because he was insane, because he could
not control himself, the State did not and could not punish him,
but held out to him the hand of mercy and pity. But this
humane man — this great and tender-hearted philanthropist — I
know he is humane — I know he is tender-hearted — because his
counsel say so — simply because he cursed him, tied this poor
man hand and foot, body and limb, flat on his back, unable to
move for one whole night ! Short, indeed, may have seemed that
night to this great and tender-hearted philanthropist, but oh !
how long, how miserable and how full of torture must it have
been to poor Mike Cosgrove!
Dr. Grissom says:
" Mike Cosgrove came here in March, 1884. He was a native of Ireland.
•Before admitted here he was a hard drinker. He was restless, excitable and
violent. He would sometimes knock his head against the wall and floor. One
evening about 8 o'clock he was strapped to the bed. Within an hour he was
quiet and remained so. Restraint was the only way by which he could be made
to rest and sleep. "
Does he say that he was strapped to the bed because he was
violent ? No ! He had read Hogan's testimony in regard to
this matter, he knew what Hogan had testified, he has not denied
the truth of Hogan's statement, and Hogan says that it was
because this poor, insane, weak, helpless man had cursed the Super-
intendent, and thereby committed what seems to be regarded in
this institution as the unpardonable sin ! There is the case, gen-
tlemen. I leave it in your hands. Be merciful to Dr. Grissom !
Remember that if you decide against him, you must send him
from this Asylum in disgrace. Remember his wife and his chil-
dren, and that his disgrace will be theirs also, and acquit him if
you can ! But in the name of humanity I call upon you to be
merciful also to these poor, helpless creatures entrusted to your
care, and I call upon you, no matter how many masonic regalias,
no matter how many medical honors may be held up before you
to dazzle your eyes and blind you with their brilHancy, to see to
it that no man shall ever hereafter be tied hand and foot on his
back all night as a punishment for what he could not help.
We will next take the case of
\V. J. Crutchfield testifies :
Do you know a man by the name of Barnett, a patient? A. Yes, sir; Robert
Did you ever see Barnett, this insane man, strapped under the orders of Dr.
Grissom ? A. Yes, sir.
What was that done for? A. I do not know what it was done for.
When was it? A. Something over a year ago.
Were you present? A. Yes, sir.
Was Dr. Grissom ? A. Yes, sir ; part of the time ; I do not think he stayed
until we got through.
W T hat was Barnett doing? A. Barnett was being strapped when I first saw
Did he make any resistance? A. He was excited and talking and he did
How long did he remain strapped? A. I do not know ; he was released
before supper sometime.
Robert Barnett was a powerful man, was he not? A. I think he was a
powerful man, but not a powerful man according to his size ; he weighed about
two hundred pounds.
W T as he known as a fighter? A. Yes, sir; when I came here that was his
He has been transferred to the Morganton Asylum, has he not? A. Yes, sir.
When was it he was strapped ? A. I do not know ; he was not in my ward
when he was strapped.
Dr. Grissorn testifies :
" Robert Barnett was admitted in December, 1874, and was transferred to
Morganton in 1888. He belonged to the class of criminally insane. He had
been tried on a serious criminal charge. He was restrained ; it tvas not done
as a punishment, but to try to impress upon him the propriety of better conduct."
He was sent to this Asylum because under the beneficent laws
of North Carolina, being insane, was not responsible for what
he had done. The State said to him, " You do not deserve pun-
ishment, but you are entitled to, and shall have pity !" The
State sends him here to this " father" as he appeared to the preach-
ers in his Sunday dress — this tender-hearted philanthropist of the
opposing counsel — to administer to him comfort, solace, relief!
Did he get it? Better far abolish that rule of law which excuses
and declines to punish those who are not responsible for their
acts and send them to the penitentiary to wear the striped clothes
of disgrace and handle the pick-axe than to turn them over to
the care and keeping of this tender-hearted father of the unfor-
Does Dr. Grissom say this man was restrained because he was
dangerous? Does he say that he was restrained because he was
violent to himself or to others? No! "It was not done as a
punishment," says Dr. Grissom, "but to try to impress upon
him the propriety of better conduct. " What are people sent to
jail for? When a man has been found guilty of stealing a
horse and the judge sentences him to a term of years in the peni-
tentiary, is it not to impress upon him "the propriety of better
conduct"? Is it not to produce upon him such a "mental im-
pression" that he will steal no more horses? "Oh ! no," says
Dr. Grissom, " I did not punish this man because he cursed me;
I simply subjected him to the tortures of the bed strap in order
to impress upon him the propriety of better conduct." I am
obliged to say that I have a perfect contempt for such a subter-
Mr. Guthrie, who was examined as a witness for Dr. Grissom,
in giving an account of his insanity and his sojourn at this Asy-
lum, told us that even in his worst condition -when his imagina-
tion was running wild as a young horse upon the prairie, when
delusions and hallucinations were flitting across his mind, one
after another in endless numbers, and when he was entirely be-
yond his own control, he was keenly sensitive to his surroundings,
and that to this day every word and every act said or done by
himself or others was indelibly impressed upon his mind. So
we have been taught, gentlemen, by Dr. Grissom's own witness
that the insane are as susceptible and as sensitive to bad treat-
ment as other persons and that in fact about the only difference
between a sane and an insane person is that the one has con-
trol of his mind,' while the other has not. And if we. had
any doubt of it before we heard the testimony of Mr. Guthrie,
we must know now that poor Mike Cosgrove, while in the
embrace of that cruel instrument of torture, must have suffered
as you or I would. I now leave this case also in your hands.
I do not ask you to convict Dr. Grissom upon this charge. Read
the evidence, consider the circumstances, bear in mind the solemn
obligations which rest upon you. Do not forget the sacred duty
which you have been called upon to perform, and if you can
acquit Dr. Grissom, do so. Save him if you can.
The next case I desire to call to your particular attention is
J. C. HERVEY.
W. J. Outchfield testifies :
What is your occupation? A. An attendant at the male ward at this insti-
Do you know a patient by the name of Hervey? A. I do, J. C. Hervey.
Did you ever see him receive any unusual treatment in the hands of Dr.
Grissom ? A. Yes, sir.
When? A. In 1887 while I was ward attendant.
State all the circumstances connected with that. A. Dr. Grissom told a col-
ored man to slam him down on the bed. He was talking very vulgar to Dr.
Grissom about Dr. Grissom's wife.
What else did he do? A. He spit at him. He was somewhat excited.
The servant had slammed him on the bed. He took him and slammed hirn
on the bed and he lay there awhile. He then got up and at Dr. Grissom, then
the servant was ordered to slam him down again. He spit at Dr. Grissom
when he got up the first time. He did not spit at him before that time. The
time. The Doctor put his foot on his body about the hip.
Hervey was an epileptic patient, was he not? A. Yes, sir.
He had his bed on the floor? A. Yes, sir, when he was on his bed he was
on the floor.
Hervey was an epileptic patient; was he violent? A. At times he was.
You say on one occasion Dr. Grissom went into his room. Did he not make
an attempt of violence against Dr. Grissom ? A. No, sir.
You say he spoke against Dr. Grissom and his wife most obscenely and
filthily? A. He did. Dr. Grissom ordered the attendant to slam him on the
floor. A colored man slammed him down. His name was A. Goss. He was
then allowed to get up. He spit at Dr. Grissom and he took him by the
shoulders and jerked him down on the bed and put his foot on him. He did
not put his foot on him the first time. It was when he spit at Dr. Grissom
when he was slammed down the second time.
Was he injured in any way ? A.I did not discover that he was.
Dr. Grissom testifies :
" Mr. Hervey was admitted J uly 3, 1883 ; is here now. He is violent at times
in a spasmodic sort of way. I remember, on one occasion, in passing through the
ward, he made a sudden demonstration of violence toward me, using the most
vulgar and indecent language about my wife. For a moment I was exceedingly
angry. There was so much insubordination in the wards that I was more
susceptible to anger than I otherwise would have been. I ordered the servant
to throw him on the floor. I hoped to be able to impress on him the impropriety
of using vulgar language, but did not intend to hurt him, and he showed no
signs of being hurt, and was not hurt."
" When attendants receive insulting and abusive language
they must keep cool and forbear to recriminate or threaten.
Violent hands shall never be laid upon patients under any provo-
cation," say the by-laws of this institution.
So anxious were the directors of this institution that the unfor-
tunate insane should be properly and humanely cared for, and so
afraid were they that some attendant should under some great
provocation lose his temper and be unkind to the poor, help-
less unfortunates in his charge, that in their by-laws, which
were required to be placed in the hands of every attendant, they
directed in plain and simple but forcible language that when
attendants receive insulting and abusive language they must
keep cool and forbear to recriminate or threaten, and that
violent hands should never be laid upon patients under any
provocation. I take for granted that it never occurred to the
author of these by-laws that any physician acquainted with the
nature of insanity would need any directions, any law, to make
him kind and humane. With that law before him this great
man, this tender-hearted philanthropist, covered all over with
medical, masonic and Christian honors, says :
"On passing through the ward, he made a sudden demonstration of vio-
lence towards me, using the most vulgar and indecent language about my wife.
For a moment I was exceedingly angry. I ordered the servant to throw him on
the floor. I hoped to be able to impress on him the impropriety of using vulgar
language I "
Is there anything in the by-laws of this institution which can
be construed as allowing the Superintendent to do what is ex-
pressly forbidden to the attendants ? Could it ever have occurred
to any man that this Superintendent who boasts of his national
reputation would be more wanting in humanity to the patients
under his charge than the attendants, "fresh from the cornfield,"
as one of the opposing counsel says? If poor Hervey had vio-
lated every criminal law of the land his diseased brain was a
sufficient and ample excuse and he would have gone unpunished.
"But, " says the Superintendent, "no insane wretch shall use in
my presence vulgar language in regard to my wife, and hope to
escape the close embraces of the bed strap. Instead of getting
angry with poor Hervey and punishing him for what he could
not help the large, tender and sympathetic heart of the great
Grissom should have swelled with pity at the misfortune of Her-
vey. He should have tenderly taken him by the hand and said :
" I will care for you, I will administer to your diseased brain, I
will be a physician, a friend and a father to you, I will, by all
the means known to science, earnestly endeavor to relieve your
sad distress and ere long return you, if possible, to the bosom of
your family. " And then, when the day's work was over and
he was about to lie down to rest from his weary labors, as he
kneeled by his bed in humble supplication to the great and lov-
ing God aud repeated that prayer which had been taught him in
his childhood at his mother's knee — "Forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us, " he would not have
called up, as by that prayer he now must invoke, the spirits of
these poor, unfortunate people to stand between him and his God
in his pleadings for heavenly mercy. " Forgive us our tres-
passes as we forgive those who trespass against us. "
These unfortunate people did what they had no power to
refrain from. To punish them for their conduct — "to make an
impression upon their minds" — I dashed water in their faces. I
delivered them to the cruel embraces of the bed strap. I stamped
my foot upon their necks. Now, Lord, as I have done to Miss
Mary Foy, to Hervey, to Upchurch and to others in my power
and keeping, even so, Oh ! Lord, do not do unto me ! In thy
mercy deal not out justice to me. I became exceedingly angry,
the temptation was greater than I could bear. I beseech thee,
in thy mercy, not to impress upon me the impropriety of my
conduct by putting thy foot upon my neck and dashing me to
the floor of the bottomless pit !
The next case which I present for your consideration is that of
Mr. D. K. Farrell testifies :
Do you know a'man named Cone, a patient? A. I did ; his name was Henry
Do you know anything unusual in the treatment of Henry Cone? If so,
state all you know about it. A. Well, I think I do, sir; I think it was in
August, 1888, it may be September, on one occasion the Superintendent and
Mr. Hogan, the chief attendant, came to the ward, this patient was locked in
a room, the Superintendent told Hogan to unlock the door, and Hogan walked
in and Cone jumped at Superintendent, and I think struck at him and proba-
bly glanced him, and the Superintendent jumped at him, and struck him and
threw him down and got on him and choked him ; he then asked for a pitcher of
water, the servant brought a pitcher of water and the Superintendent had
about a gallon of water poured in his face and he lay there. It did not seem
to arouse him any, and the Superintendent walked out and left him.
Who was there besides the Superintendent? A. The chief attendant, myself
and the servant.
How many men did it take to overcome him and get him on the floor? A.
I should think it ought not to have required more than one ; he was small, but
rather stont; the Superintendent threw him down, I think alone; Hogan was
What did you see him do when he got him down? A. He choked him
severed perhaps for something like a minute.
Was Cone struggling? A. Yes, sir; he went to get up, no one laid hands
on him but the Superintendent, who called for a pitcher of water and poured
it in his face; I think it was a gallon pitcher; he remarked that he would see
if it would stop him from making those attacks on people when they are in the
room ; he paid no attention to the water and the Superintendent left the room
when he was in that condition.
What became of Cone after that? A. Well, he got up after that. I do not
know how long he was in an excited condition; no attendant was left in the
room with him.
Do you remember whether or not that treatment had any effect upon the
disposition of. Cone? A. Not at all, sir, that I could see for either better or
Henry Cone was a patient when you first came here? A. Yes, sir.
Do you know how long he had been a patient at the institution? A. I do
Do you know that he was here in 1883? A. No, sir.
Was he not a very peculiar patient? Did he not have the habit of jumping at
persons? A. I do not know that he jumped at patients particularly, but he
would spring upon any one when he was locked in his room.
I ask you if he had not on that very occasion sprung upon the Superin-
tendent? A. I do not know that he had.
Do you know if he made a spring at him when he went in the room that
morning? A. Yes, sir. »
Did the Superintendent and he get into a struggle? A. Not much of a
struggle; the Superintendent got him down and choked him.
Then he called for water and got a pitcher of water and threw it in his face
himself? A. Yes, sir.
I do not suppose you have been the superintendent of an asylum ? A. No,
Do you not know that throwing water is a manner of treatment? A. No,
sir; I do not.
J. A. Norwood testifies:
Did you know Henry Cone? A. Yes, sir.
Do you remember any unusual treatment of this patient by the Superin-
tendent? A. Yes, sir. /■
When was it? A. In the year 1883, the year I came here.
Tell all the particulars you know about it. A. The Superintendent came
into the ward one evening with some visitors, he and the chief attendant, and
he turned to go back and right at the dining-room door I looked back and saw
the patient, Henry Cone, and him up there in a tussle. I got up there and
took hold of the patient myself, and the Superintendent looked like he tried
to choke him. He put his hand on his throat and every time he would grab
at his throat he would catch the patient by the chin. He told me to take him
down to his room and whistled for the servant. I carried the patient in the
patient's room, and he said slam him down on the bed, and I laid him on the
bed and held his hands, and he got down on his knees on the edge of the bed
and choked him with both hands as I was holding him.
Did you have any difficulty in holding patient ? A. I held him very
How did he choke him ? A. He put both hands around his neck. Then
he said let him get up. At first he had no use of himself, he seemed to be as
limber as a dish-rag and about half a minute he seemed to make off at Dr. Gris-
som and he said slam him down again, damn him. About that time the servant
came in and held his feet; I had his hands. Dr. Grissom put his foot on his
neck and mashed down on him, then he took his foot off and asked if I had
any water. I told him I did and he went and got a bucket himself and threw
a bucket of water in Cone's face. Then he told me to go out and pull the
door to and let him be.
Where did you leave him ? A. On the bed.
What was his condition? A. He did not seem to have any use of himself
when I left him ; Dr. Grissom went out of the ward and in about five minutes I
turned him out of the ward through the dining-room >and he came out of the
centre building. Dr. Grissom came back and started through the ward. I
was with him in there and got into Cone's room, and I called attention to Dr.
Grissom that Cone was in there, and went in and when we raised the patient
up he did not seem to have any use of himself then. Then I held him up
there and in a very short time he seemed to get better. Then he walked over
to the Superintendent and the Superintendent asked him if he thought he was
going to fight any more. He looked like he wanted to lay his head on his
breast, and did sorter lay his head up there and began to cry and said that
lemonade made him drunk, and Dr. Grissom said water made some people
drunker than whisky did others. Then Dr. Grissom went on back out of the
ward again and Cone went out in the hall and took a seat on the bench.
When he was strapped it was as a punishment? A. I suppose so.
When Cone was punished that was a punishment for fighting, was it? A.
Yes, sir; several have been strapped since I have been here.
Do you remember the names? A. Kenneday and Williams; I do not re-
member others now.
At the time that Henry Cone, as you say, was choked and slammed down on
the bed and had a bucket of water thrown in his face 7>y Dr. Grissom, what
other persons were present? A. The servant was in there when he dashed
the water in his face and saw him put his foot on his neck; the servant had
not got to the room when he choked him with his hand. .
Did the servant hear him curse him? A. I reckon he did; he was in the
room at the time.
Did you say in your direct examination you saw him that same afternoon
out in the ward sitting on a bench? A. I said that afterwards when the Super-
intendent came in he walked off across the hall and sat on a bench.
How long after he was mistreated, as you say, before you saw him sitting on
the bench in the ward ? A. Ten or twelve minutes.
Were there any bruises? A. No bruises.
Did he require medical treatment or receive medical treatment for the
injuries inflicted upon him by Dr. Grissom? A. No, sir.
Do you know that Henry Cone is in the habit of suddenly springing upon
visitors, attendants and others that come near him? A- I have known it to
be the case several times.
Do you know that upon this occasion he sprang upon Dr. Grissom suddenly?
A. I suppose so; they were together when I saw them.
Do you not know that he is on the average above the ordinary strength, and
when he gets in a paroxysm is he not a very strong man ? A. I think he is a
very strong man according to his size.
Dr. Grissom testifies:
" Henry Cone was admitted here Nov. 19, 1883. He was a peculiar, patient ;
had the habit of jumping on and choking people; made assaults of that kind
on me several times. On one occasion he jumped on me very suddenly. I
took hold of him as he jumped at me with both hands, one on each side of his
neck, taking him in that position for the purpose of checking him. On occa-
sions of attack his face would become suffused and his eyes red with conges-
tion. I found the easiest way to subdue him was to take him on each side of
the neck with both hands. He was in the habit, when quieted in that way, of
feigning a sort of collapse, and generally seemed to be in a sudden good humor.
On the occasion alluded to, I suppose, he seemed rather persistently violent,
and I either threw him or directed him to be thrown on the floor. He con-
tinued his struggle, and I ordered some water and threw it in his face with a
view to making a deep mental impression upon him, that other restraints
seemed not to have, and with no view of punishment or torture. He then
assumed his collapsed condition, and seemed entirely submissive. I left and
soon saw him sitting out in the reception room quite as well as when in his
lucid intervals. There was not a Bear upon him and he was not hurt physi-
cally. He is now much improved. The sudden attacks have almost ceased,
and he frequently assists the servant in cleaning up the room and ward. I
think, in some cases, insane persons can resort to tricks to, deceive people.
Insanity is not a destruction of the mind, but a disease of the mind. It is no
more a death of the mind than sickness is a death of the body."
" In my long experience in handling patients safety suggested a pressure
upon the arteries leading to the brain to prevent a rush of blood, and in con-
sequence I was in the habit of taking patients by the neck, with one hand on
each side of it.
"With a view to making a deep mental impression" !
The same old subterfuge ! When Dr. Grissom punishes an
insane man he calls it " making a mental impression " and when
he punishes him severely he calls it " making a deep mental
In this case there are two witnesses, Mr. Farrell, who resigned
" because he didn't like the business, " and Mr. Norwood, who is
still an attendant here. Neither of these witnesses has been
impeached in any way, and no evidence has been offered to show
that they are unworthy of belief, aud therefore their evidence
is before you as worthy of credit. Now, gentlemen, I ask you, if
two men should get to fighting out on the court green, and a third
man should hold one of these two and one of the combatants
should choke the other thus being held, wouldn't he be denounced
as a coward by all honorable men?
Dr. Grissom says to this poor insane man, Cone, I don't want
to hurt you, old fellow; I have no idea of punishing you, but I
am going to make an impression on your poor, deluded mind, if
I have to choke you nigh unto death.
" In my long experience in handling patients safety suggested
a pressure upon the arteries leading to the brain to prevent a
rush of blood, and in consequence I was in the habit of taking
patients by the neck, with one hand on each side of it. "
Was in the habit of doing it ! But he simply put his hands
on the sides of the neck in order to prevent a rush of blood to
the brain ! — that was his sole purpose ! and who shall dispute
his declaration? For he is a great and wonderful man, giving
light as it were to all the medical world ! We know he is great,
for his counsel have told us so ! But all the braius of this earth
do not rest in that great head and we ourselves have some little
sense. We know that the carotid arteries, leading from the
heart along the neck to the brain, are protected by and lie immedi-
ately under the strong muscles of the neck ; and that no such
gentle pressure as that described by Dr. Grissom could stop the
rush of blood along these arteries. And we also know that to
control the amount of blood going to the brain the pressure
must be upon the arteries alone, and not upon the veins. To
accomplish this purpose it is necessary to make precise and defi-
nite pressure with the end of the thumb, or some equivalent, and
also that the patient shall be quiet— -or at least not struggling.
If you grasp a struggling patient " on each side of the neck with
both hands" you may indeed accomplish "pressure upon the
arteries," if you use sufficient force, but you make at the same
time a greater pressure upon the veins, which convey the blood
from the brain ; and thereby you prevent the outflow of the
brain's blood, and dam it up, as it were, in the brain. Indeed,
the effect is closely analogous to the congested condition of a
finger with a string tied around it : the blood goes in by the
arteries, but cannot get out through the veins, because the veins
are more compressed than the arteries are. This, therefore,
would produce a worse condition than no pressure at all. This
is the most absurd and ridiculous story we have yet heard!
I call upon the counsel on the other side, when they come
to reply to me, to tell us what alienist, even amongst those
who are the most enthusiastic advocates of mechanical restraint,
has ever said that it was proper under any circumstances,
except in cases of necessary self-defence, to choke a patient.
But it seems that this great authority — this wonderful man
— loaded, as it were, with regalias, insignia and all sorts of
honors, civil, military, medical, masonic and church — has set
himself up as greater and more learned than all other men,
and in this enlightened age oracularly declares that in order
to make a deep mental inipression upon an insane man it is
proper to choke him until his breath has almost gone, and then,
to make the mental impression still deeper, dash a bucket of
water in his face ! And it is no wonder that after such treat-
ment poor Henry Cone "was in a collapsed condition. " The
by-laws direct that the patients shall never be pushed, collared
nor rudely handled, and that violent hands shall never be laid
upon patients under any provocation, and yet we find that the
Superintendent of this institution, without necessity and without
cause, as a punishment for what a patient had done, chokes him
and dashes water in his face until, as the Superintendent himself
says, he was in a collapsed condition. If you can find Dr.
Grissom innocent of this charge, by all means do so; but in
order to do so you must find that the three witnesses, Farrell,
Norwood and Grissom himself, have committed perjury !
Would you like for one who is dear to you, who should by
chance be so unfortunate as to be placed as a patient in this insti-
tution, to be treated in this way? If you would, acquit Dr.
I will now ask you to consider the case of
Mrs. B. C. Jones for the defence testifies :
Were you ever connected with this institution? A. Yes, sir.
How long were you here? A. Not quite eighteen years.
What position did you hold here? A. Well, when I first came I was extra
attendant, for the first few years filling the places of those attendants who
were away or off duty and I then was made chief attendant after about four
years- in the female ward.
Did your business as chief attendant bring you in company often when he
was waiting upon the patients? A. Very frequently.
Do you know about the restraint that was used here in the institution? A.
When was the restraint by strapping the patient to the bed used? A. In
right many cases.
Under what circumstances? A. When they were violent or when they
were injurious to themselves or other people or each other.
When the patient was restrained to the bed what were the directions of the
Superintendent in respect to resting the patients? A. They were to be taken
up and rested at least two or three times a day.
Did you ever know of any one to be restrained without being rested ? A.
I have known some few who would not be taken up.
Do you remember those cases? A. There used to be a Mrs. Styles that
used to be restrained and she was so violent at times she would not permit any
one to take her up.
Do you know of any improvement resulting from this treatment of restraint
to the patients ? A. Yes, sir ; I think I have known it was beneficial. They
improved rapidly afterwards, some did.
You were the attendant who restrained Mrs. Lowther under the directions of
Dr. Grissom, are you ? A. Yes, sir.
Do you remember the circumstances under which she was restrained ? A. I do
not know that I remember every part of it, but it was to learn hen- to control her-
self some way, to learn obedience.
What was her condition in respect to her insanity ? A. She was very excitable,
and if you wished her to do anything that was necessary and she did not want to
do it, she would spit upon you and kick you ; she would not take a bath or would
not go in and eat.
Do you remember the time she was restrained (we come to the time of her
restraint before her death), how long she was restrained and all about it, if she
was taken up and rested ? A. She was restrained as much as two clays, and as usual
was rested as the usual patients.
How often ? A. As much as twice a day.
Did you see her after she was released ? A. Yes, sir.
Did she go in her room and take her bath ? A. She took her bath in her room.
What was her condition afterwards ? A. Just as it was before, as far I have
How long did she live? A. She did not live more than two or three hours, I
guess ; I could not exactly tell the time.
Was there any evidence of any injury by restraint? A. None in the world.
Was the restraint in her case as usual ? A. Yes, sir.
I understand you to say that Mrs. Lowther was strapped as long as two days ?
A. Yes, sir.
How long was it after the release, the last time, before she died ? A. I guess
it was two or three hours ; I am not exactly certain about it.
What was Mrs. Lowther strapped for? A. I do not remember the very thing
she was strapped for.
I ask you if she was not restrained on Thursday and did not remain restrained
Saturday evening ? A. She was released on Saturday. I do not remember the
day she was restrained.
Was she not kept there Friday night, and were not the orders not to release her
until she would agree to bathe ? A. I do not remember that.
Did you say that Mrs. Lowther was or was not a violent patient ? A. I said
she was violent and excitable sometimes.
J. W. Thompson, recalled bv the prosecution, testifies :
Do you know when Mrs. Lowther was a patient in the institution? A. In
Do you know the contents of the report in regard to her being strapped ? A.
I recollect a portion of them very distinctly.
State what that was. A. I recollect reading the report that she was strapped
to her bed either for spitting at the Superintendent or for cursing him.
How long was she strapped ? A. For as much as two days ; I remember read :
ing it two nights. I recollect distinctly that Mrs. Lowther was released and died.
What time of day was she released ? A. I cannot recall exactly. She died in
She was strapped to the bed two days for spitting at the Superintendent and
she remained for two days, and on the same day she was released she died ? A.
Question by Dr. Foote:
I wish to know whether the witness intended to convey the idea that she was
continuously strapped to bed ? A. I do not recollect that the report stated that
she was released during that time.
How old was Mrs. Lowther '? A. She was more than fifty years old.
This old Mrs. Lowther was strapped to the bed ? A. That is what the report
As to this you have no personal knowledge '? A. No, sir ; it was what the report
said. I recollect I read it before the officers of the institution.
Is it the duty of the attendants to report all discipline of the patients to the
officers ? A. They do ; that is their duty. These reports were received by me, the
matron received them from the female department and the steward from the male
department, and there was a stated time for reading them.
Who were the attendants when Mrs. Lowther was strapped ? A. I do not
Who was her attendant, Mrs. B. C. Jones ? A. I am not positive.
Is she an employee of the institution now ? A. No, sir ; she has been away
more than a year ; the last time I heard of her she lived at or near Raleigh.
Don't you know she was a citizen of Granville county? A. I do not.
Who was the night attendant ? A. I do not recollect, sir.
Who made the report about the strapping? A. The attendant of the ward; I
do not remember the name.
State, if you please, why it is that you can remember the substance of the
report and cannot remember the name of the attendant making the report ? A.
As to the night attendants, I rarely ever see night attendants. Sometimes I do
not know who is night attendant of the female department. My impression is
that she was Miss Mattie Toler, of Fayetteville. She has married since and is
now Mrs. R. Smith.
You read all the report yourself ? A. I did.
When did you say that this strapping of Mrs. Lowther took place ? A. I
refreshed my memory where I keep the number of graves and date of death ; I
buried her. She died March 14th, 18S5.
Do you remember the fact that she got up and washed her face and attended
to her business and duties and died about two hours afterwards ? A. I do not
remember the report stating that, but understood that she died soon after she got
up, not immediately.
Did you understand that she died of heart disease ? A. No, sir. There was no
cause assigned in the report.
Who, at the time, kept the book and cause of death of patients ? A. I do not
know who keeps it now, 1 do not know.
Mrs. Watson testifies :
Did you know Mrs. Lowther? A. Yes, sir; I had charge of her a short time.
I was here when she died.
Did you see her when she was restrained? A. I passed through the ward at
What was the character of her insanity and what was her conduct ? A. She
was very unpleasant ; she wowld throw things about, and spit in one's face ; she
would give the patients a shove to get them out of the way, and would hurt them
at times. She was a very excitable patient at times ; she would use bad language,
and it was necessary to restrain her at times, to restrain her for the purpose of
quieting her and to control her. She would throw anything in your face she
could get-hold of, and she would do anything she could to hurt the feelings of
Dr. Grissom testifies :
"Mrs. Lowther came here in June, 1881, and died in March, 1885. She had
Chronic mania and delusions. She would not allow herself to be controlled. In
everything she had to be managed by force and would tight the attendants. I
restrained her to the bedstead with the view of trying to impress her with the impro-
priety of her conduct. She was restrained one night till the next morning and was
released frequently. The next morning she took her meals in her room, seemed
quite as well as usual and died in about two hours. She was restrained only that
one night. I do not think the restraint had anything to do with her death. "
It may not be improper for me to say that Mrs. Lowther was
the wife of a most excellent physician of one of the eastern
counties of the State; that she herself was of excellent family,
from her childhood had been accustomed to the refinement and
culture of the best society, and, until she became insane and was
brought to this Asylum for treatment, had been surrounded by
all the comforts and luxuries that wealth affords. When the
mind of her who was dearer to him than all the world besides
passed into that dark and awful shadow of insanity there was
doubtless some comfort to her husband's bleeding heart in the
thought that in this institution of noble charity, in the hands of
this Superintendent of so much learning and experience, she
would be tenderly cared for and, if possible, gently and lovingly
led out of that terrible shadow into the bright and blessed light
of health and reason.
Remember that all these witnesses — Mrs. Jones, Mr. Thomp-
son and Mrs. Watson — swear that she was strapped two days.
Dr. Grissom testifies that "she was restrained one night with
the view of trying to impress her with the impropriety of her con-
duct. " Mr. Thompson says the daily reports showed that she
was strapped to the bedstead either for spitting at the Superin-
tendent or for cursing him. Mrs. Jones says she would not
bathe or go to the table and eat and she was strapped to teach
her obedience. So that whether you believe the evidence of all
the witnesses or only that of either one of them you must con-
clude that this insane lady was strapped as a punishment for
something she had done, or had refused to do, and concerning
which she had no power to control herself.
I imagine the truth to be that Mrs. Lowther, a poor, old, in-
sane woman — fifty odd years old — refused to go to the bath-room
when ordered, and insisted on bathing in her own private room.
To make her obey orders — "to teach her obedience" — as Mrs.
Watson, a witness for the defence, says, she was delivered over to
the cruel embraces of that terrible machine of torture, the bed
strap. One of Dr. Grissom's witnesses dwelt upon the fine dis-
cipline wi^h which this institution was managed. He said that he
had been at various institutions of this kind and that at none of
them did he observe such strict and excellent discipline as he found
here. Poor old Mrs. Lowther, far away from the protection of
home and kinsmen, turned over to the tender mercies of this
great philanthropist, simply because she was a little stubborn,
was tortured — yes, tortured to death ! Why were not kind at-
tendants placed around her? Why did they not humor the
notions of this poor, old, insane lady? Why did they not treat
her with kindness and gentleness? Why did they not take pity
on her and let her bathe in the privacy of her own 'room, if by
doing so it would give to her one minute's comfort, or ameliorate
one iota her unhappy and wretched condition ? Ah ! That
could not be done ! That would interfere with the discipline of
this institution ! I, the Czar, must be obeyed ! Discipline
must be maintained at whatever cost or misery.
Under the laws of this Asylum whenever a patient dies there
must be kept not only a record of the death but of its cause,
Mrs. Lowther died on the 14th of March, 1885.
In the report of the Superintendent for the year 1885, which
I now hold in my hand, I find that opposite the name of every
patient who has died at this Asylum during the period covered
by this report the cause of death is printed, except that of the
one who died on the 14th March, 1885. The counsel on the
other side would have you believe that she died of heart disease.
If this be true, why is it not so written in the records? If it be
true that when she died no cause of death was known, it was
due to the good name of this institution, it was due to the Super-
intendent himself, to have had an autopsy so as to ascertain with
certainty the cause of death ! Thank the Lord for the hour
that she died ! Thank the Lord for snatching this unfor-
tunate, wretched old lady from the merciless embraces of the
bed strap, and taking her to that happy land where insan-
ity, insane asylums and tender-hearted, philanthropic superin-
tendents are unknown.
Gentlemen, I do not know how these things affect you; but
I confess that when I reflect upon such scenes my blood rushes
along the arteries of my body and back again to my heart until
it seems that I can endure it no longer.
They have called upon a large number of witnesses to testify
as to the character of Dr. Grissom. They have called upon
ministers of the gospel to show how he behaves on Sundays.
They have called upon gentlemen who -were directors of this
institution twenty years ago to prove that, so far as they knew,
during the term of their offices, there was no cruelty here.
' I call upon Mrs. Lowther' s spirit ! When one " shuffles off
this mortal coil" and the spirit takes its departure, it may fly to
worlds above and be forgetful and unconscious of its former
home, or it may, unseen by us, observe and take an interest in
the affairs of earth, but I feel that the spirit of Mrs. Lowther
is before you. I feel that she now stands by me and inspires
me with words of denunciation of the man under whose orders
she was tortured to death.
The testimony of Mr. Guthrie was exceedingly interesting to
me. I don't know when anything has impressed me more. As
he told us how, when he was insane, his imagination ran wild,
how even when delusions and hallucinations in countless num-
bers took possession of his brain he was keenly sensitive to
what was said and done in his presence, how at times the spirit
of stubbornness overcame him, how all these things were indeli-
bly impressed upon his memory, and how, even now, he remem-
bered with great vividness everything that occurred during the
period of his insanity, I could not help thinking of poor old
Different persons have different ideas as to what is hell, some
believing that it is one thing, some another, the old-fashioned
notion being, I believe, that it was a place of fire and brimstone
presided over by the Devil, who passed around with his long tail
and his forked stick, stirring up the spirits and the fire, the more
modern idea being that it is a place where wicked and unpar-
doned souls suffer from remorse, their agonies being so great as
to be compared to the pains of fire and brimstone. I confess
that up to the time of this trial my ideas of this place of torment
were uncertain, vague and misty, and I could not imagine what
it was. But now, with pencil and paper, I can, in a few min-
utes, picture to you this place of torment. Here it is ! Behold
Mrs. Lowther, tied hand and foot, limbs and body, strapped flat
on her back ! See the agonized expression of her countenance !
Here she has been for two long days and nights unable to move !
Poor 6ld Mrs. Lowther ! Wretched and unfortunate ! Her
mind a wreck ! As the bright sun for a moment shows itself
through the dark and lowering clouds, so, perhaps, comes to her
mind the recollection of that sweet old home where a long time
ago she had spent such happy days and where she was accus-
tomed to bathe in her own private room, and being so impressed
with this dim recollection of the past refused to go to the public
bath-room. Instead of having»her fancy humored, she is rudely
handled, cruelly treated, tortured to death. If this be not hell,
then that place is more terrible than the mind of man can imag-
ine. It is almost enough to make us doubt the existence of a
great and merciful God that such things are permitted.
As I have said before, I do not beg you to convict Dr. Gris-
som of this charge. Acquit him if you can! If Mrs. Low-
ther's spirit could speak to you she would also say, "Acquit him
if you cau !" But, gentlemen, when you have done so, as you
pass out, inscribe in letters of blood over the great doors of this
Asylum, "Who enters here leaves hope behind."
If Dr. Grissom shall go unpunished for his treatment of Mrs.
Lowther, if by acquitting him of this charge, you indorse and
approve such treatment, and then I should be so unfortunate as
to become insane, I pray that some kind friend may take pity
on me and put an end to my existence. Rather let me go with-
out warning and without preparation, to answer for the deeds
done in the body, trusting to the mercy of a great and good God,
than to bear for even a few short days the punishments and the
tortures of this Asylum.
The next case is that of
J. D. L. SMITH.
Julian C. Bevers testifies:
Did you ever have employment at this institution ? A. I did.
Did you know a patient by the name of J. D. L. Smith? A. Yes, sir.
Do you remember anything as to his treatment? A. I remember him being
strapped to the bedstead.
When ? A. During the year 1886 ; I do not remember the month.
What was the cause of his being strapped ? A. For trying to get out or for
trying to break a guard off window ; the attendant reported him to me and I
reported him to the Superintendent, and he ordered me to strap him.
Was there any bedding on the wall of that room ? A. No, sir ; only mattress
made for Smith ; no bedding on wall or on floor.
Was any one kept in that room but Smith ? A. No, sir.
Superintendent ordered you to strap him ? Yes, sir.
And you did so ? A. Yes, sir.
Who was present? A. Three attendants and myself.
Did Dr. Grissom come in while it was being done ? A. Yes, sir.
What did he do? A. He asked Smith what was that he said when he first
What answer ? A. I do not think he gave any answer at all.
What was it he said ? A. He made a remark about him and the matron just as
he was entering the door.
What did Dr. Grissom do ? A. He walked up in front of Smith and said, " Get
away ; I have a great mind to kick his guts out," and raised his foot, but did not
strike him ; he said he had a mind to kick him, that he ought to have been in the
penitentiary, ought never to have been brought here ; that if he had justice done
he would have been hung.
How long did he remain? A. He remained some four or six hours; he was
strapped in the afternoon and released at nine.
Then what became of Smith ? A. He was put back in the strong room where
he came from.
Do you remember noticing another time Smith was strapped ? A. Yes, sir.
What was the cause of that ? State all the things you know about it. A. He
sent the Superintendent an insulting note by me.
What did the Doctor do or say when he looked at it ? A. He looked at it, put
it in the waste basket and said strap him.
Did you strap him ? A. I did.
How long did he remain that way ? I do not remember ; a few hours.
What sort of a patient was Smith ? A. A very troublesom'e patient ; his influ-
ence was bad on the patients.
Do you know he was sent here for trying to burn a bridge ? A. I heard so.
Has there been a patient here that has been more troublesome and whose exam-
ple was worse than Smith's ? A. No, sir.
Has he ever been subjected to restraint of any sort that was not necessary,
wholesome restraint (objection) ; question withdrawn.
The strong room you speak of was fitted for Mr. Smith ? A. Yes, sir.
The mattress that was put in the room extended up the sides ? A. The mat-
tress was padded and extended about twelve feet up the sides.
Would it not have been dangerous for an attendant to have stayed in that room
with him ? A. Yes, sir.
This mattress was on the floor ; a comfortable mattress and bed clothing ? A.
He was quite a mechanic for making keys ? A. Yes, sir.
How many times has he escaped from the institution ? A. Once during my
Did you hear of another escape ? A. Yes, sir.
What was it when Dr. Grissom came in ; was it as vulgar and filthy as could be
used ? A. He was abusive, but not so vulgar as I have heard him.
Was not the note he sent as vulgar and abusive as you ever saw ? A. I think it
Do you know when Dr. Grissom came up here and raised his foot at him that
he thought that Smith's language was the teaching of Dr. Rogers and Mr. Thomp-
son ? A. I do not, sir ; I have no right to think what he thinks. I cannot read a
Did Dr. Grissom tell him that he thought that language was the teaching of
Dr. Rogers and Mr. Thompson ? A. No, sir ; he did not.
Smith, while here as an insane person, has plenty of sense to know right from
wrong ? A. I think he has.
Are you an expert ? A. No, sir. I think he has the sense, but can't control it.
Mr. D. K. Farrell testifies :
Do you know a patient Darned J. D. L. Smith ? A. I do.
Do you know of any unusual treatment of him by the Superintendent '? A. He
had him strapped to the bedstead twice ; I think the first time about the latter
part of September, 1886.
What were the circumstances connected with it ? A. Well, Smith was in the
strong room built for bad patients ; he was supposed to try to break out of the
institution ; he was locked in that room alone ; by some means he got hold of a
piece of iron and made a key and unlocked the door and it was reported to the
Superintendent by the chief attendant, I think about 3 o'clock in the evening,
maybe four. Pretty soon I received word to help strap Smith to the bed, and
we did strap him. I think the Superintendent came in before we were quite fin-
ished. We kept him there from that evening about 5 o'clock until next morning,
say about 8 o'clock. I gave him his meals, supper and breakfast. I think he got
up once to attend to the calls of nature about 9 o'clock that night ; he was then
strapped again after being released a short while.
What effect did the strapping have on Smith ? A. I think it made him meaner ;
something did ; I cannot say it was the strapping, but something did ; he got
Why was he strapped ? A. Because he tried to break out of the strong room.
The treatment made him meaner, I think.
You spoke of another time when Smith was strapped. A. I do not remember ;
some time in 188?.
Will you tell the circumstances about the strapping? A. It was because he
sent a vulgar and insulting note to the Superintendent by Mr. Bevers, who was
acting as chief attendant at the time. I cannot remember how long he wa6
strapped by the Superintendent to the bed ; he was ordered to be strapped by the
Superintendent ; he was strapped pretty tightly. I cannot remember what time
it was ; I think he was released some time about 9 o'clock that night.
Was there an attendant in the strong room with him ? A. No, sir.
How long did he stay in the strong room '? A. He stayed there all the time
unless they took him out to strap him to the bedstead ; there was no bedstead in
the strong room ; there was a mattress ; I left him there when I resigned.
Do you know what effect this treatment of Smith had upon his mind ? A.
Well, cannot say about that, but he got worse daily, but I do not know what
I ask you if you do not know that J. D. L. Smith in the Asylum is criminally
insane? A. No, sir.
Do you know that he was sent here for burning; a bridge over Cape Fear River?
A. No, sir.
Do you know that he is a mechanic and car* make most anything ? A. Yes, sir.
You say he was in the strong room : is that not a padded room all over the floor
and extending up the sides of the walls? A. No, sir ; not when I was there.
Do you not know that J. D. L. Smith is a vigorous young man ? A. He looked
Do you know that he broke out and had to be arrested in Fayetteville and
brought back? A. No, sir; he escaped from the institution and had to be
Do you not know that on another occasion he was arrested by a party of negroes
about nine miles and a half from here and brought back ? A. I know he escaped
and was brought back.
Don't you know that nothing can be kept in the strongroom? A. Yes, sir;
nothing of which weapons can be made.
Mr. G. A. Poole testifies :
Do you remember a patient named J. D. L. Smith ? do you remember any unus-
ual treatment of him ? A. Nothing but being strapped to the bed.
What was he strapped for, and how long did he remain ? A. He was strapped
for unlocking a window ; he was released about 10 o'clock ; he was strapped as a
punishment ; he was reported and strapped.
Was he strapped loosely or tightly ? A. Rather tightly ; he complained and
the straps were loosened after a while. (Witness shows how the strap works). The
patient was strapped to the bed ou his back ; could move his head a little, but
could not raise his shoulders.
What arrangements were made by which he could be released for purposes of
nature? A. Tbey generally made arrangements for that ; unless arrangements
were made he would relieve himself on the bed.
He was strapped for what purpose? A. For opening one of the guards of the
window in his cell, and while the carpenters were working on the room he was
getting out the window, and I reported it to Dr. Grissom and he ordered him to
be strapped ; he remained from 3 or 4 o'clock until the next morning about 10.
Do you remember that he was strapped another time ? A. On the evening of
the day he was released he was again strapped that evening and remained from
5 o'clock in the evening until 8.30 when we put him in the strong room to sleep.
What was in the strong room ? A. Nothing but bedding and spittoons.
What did the bedding consist of ? A. Mattresses, sheets and pillows.
What effect did that have upon the patient Smith ? A. I do not know that I
noticed any change in him.
He was not violent, you say ? A. I did not consider him so.
You do not call a man violent who often strikes other patients and attendants.
How long were you here ? A. Only about three months.
You were hardly here long enough to enable you to conduct an institution and
tell whether punishment and restraint were necessary, were you? No, sir; I
I think I ask your opinion as to whether the restraint was beneficial to Smith;
were you here long enough to tell whether the restraint was so or not ? A. I
saw no change and left shortly after that.
J. A. Tucker testifies :
Do you know J. D. L. Smith ? A. Yes, sir.
Did you ever see him strapped? A. Yes, sir.
What for? A. I have seen him strapped several times for different things. I
know he was strapped once for trying to bite a piece out of his arm. He was
standing in his room quiet just before he was strapped.
Another time, what was he strapped for? A. I do not remember. It was
always as a punishment for something he had done, and sometimes to prevent
him from doing something.
What something was he prevented from doing ? A. I don't remember. He
has threatened to do things and been strapped to prevent him from doing them.
Do you know of patients being put in the strong room? A. Yes, sir.
Who were they ? A. I have knowm Smith, Wortham and numbers of others I
cannot call names of.
What were they put in seclusion f or ? A. Sometimes for one thing, sometimes
as a punishment for what they had already done, and sometimes they were too
much excited to be with other patients.
Have not Lan. Smith and Zeb. Williams sense enough to be subjects of disci-
pline ? did they have sense enough to know what they were strapped for? A. I
W. J. Outchfield testifies :
Did you ever see J. D. L. Smith strapped ? A. Yes, sir.
How many times ? A. I do not remember.
What was it for? A. Sometimes for one thing, and sometimes for another.
At one time it was said he had matches and would not give them up; they said
it was for this. I do not know what it was for.
J. A. Norwood testifies :
What is your business? A. Attendant of this Asylum.
Do you know a patieut named J. D. L. Smith ? A. I do.
Do you know anything unusual of his treatment ? A. Yes, sir ; he was strap-
ped to the bed once and I helped.
When was that ? A. March of this year.
Under whose orders? A. Dr. Grissom's.
For what was he strapped to the bed ? A. For taking screws out of the window
in his room.
State all the circumstances connected with it. A. Bevers and I were putting
cuffs on ; he asked how Dr. Grissom looked when he reported it to him, and
Bevers said he did did not know how he looked, and patient said he looked like
he had just * * * * and Dr. Grissom walked in and said, " What is
that you said ? I will kick his guts out of him. " He said he was a great mind
to kick him under the chin and break his neck, that he was the meanest man
that ever came here, and that he never ought to have been here ; he ought to
have been in the penitentiary, and if justice had been done him he would have
Do you know why the Superintendent ordered him to be strapped ? A. Because
he took the screws out of the window and unlocked the window guard.
After Smith had taken the screws out could he have gotten out ? A. I do not
think he could have gotten out until judgment without something more than he
had in there ; there were two new, heavy sets of bars.
What effect did this strapping have on Smith ? A. No good effect, that I know
How long was Smith kept in strap? A. He was strapped that evening and
removed that night to another room.
Where is Smith now ? A. He is in the fourth ward, first floor.
Is he confined in that close room ? A. He sleeps in there at night, but is not
locked in there at day.
Is he allowed any exercise ? A. He walks out doors with other patients. He has
been strapped several other times since I have been here.
Do you know the cause for which he was strapped '? A. I think the last time
he was strapped was for biting a piece out of his own arm.
What were the other causes — do you remember ? A. I do uot recollect exactly
Could he have been prevented from biting a piece out of his arm by giving him
one or two attendants ? A. Yes, sir ; very easily, I think. I think one could
have attended to him very easily.
Could he be prevented from interfering with the screws of the window, etc., by
the personal attention of an attendant ? A. I think he could.
Is he a violent man ? A. Well, he is ; I do not think so very violent. He talks
How does he act ? A. He fights sometimes. He has struck one or two patients
since I have been here. He would just strike them and go on.
Did he have an}' attendant with him ? A. No, sir.
Was he strapped for striking ? A. No, sir.
What was done with him ? A. He was locked up alone in a room.
Does he ever have attendants ? A. He has never had one since I have been
here that I know of.
I suppose this strapping etc., has changed Smith's disposition ? A. I do not see
any change in him.
How many times did you say you had seen him strapped ? A. He has been
strapped several times since I have been here. I do not remember how many. I
have been here a little over two years.
To what extent is Smith confined in that room ? A. He was locked in there
when I came here, and he was in there several months afterwards ; they told me
he had been in there some time.
How was be fed ? A. By the attendant, which was general]}* hauded to hlai
through the trap-door; two attendants had to go to him.
Did you ever go into his room alone ? A. Yes, sir.
Did he offer you any violence '? A. No, sir.
Was not Lan. Smith in the institution as a criminally insane person ? A. I have
been told so.
Did he not once break out the bars, and get out, and go to Fayetteville ? A. I
have heard he did.
Did he not again escape and was re-taken by Mr. Thompson ? A. I heard so ;
that took place before I came here.
Has he not made false keys and unlocked doors? A. I have never seen him
unlock a door. I have seen him have false ke3 r s.
Do you know that recently he cut his arm with a piece of tin and threatened
to bleed himself to death ? A. I know he cut his arm once.
Do you know that another time he had another piece of tin on him ? A. No,
Do you know that he is in the habit of striking patients and then denying it ?
A. He has struck them once or twice, but I always saw him.
Do you know of his bruising the patients on the fifth ward ? A. I have heard
that he did, but I was not in that ward.
Do you know that once he had a special attendant ? A. Not since I have been
Do you know that his special attendant was so annoyed and worried that he
threatened to leave the institution ? A. If that took place it was before I came.
Did not Dr. Grissom give the order for him to be bound because he was break-
ing, or attemping to break out ; aud before he went in the room, when you say
he threatened to kick him ? A. They told me he gave orders for taking out
screws and breaking locks.
Were not those orders being carried out at the time Dr. Grissom came in ? A.
Do you know that Lan. Smith is in a much better condition than he was at the
time he came to the institution ? A. I do not see any difference in him.
Did you not say in your direct examination that when you came to the institu-
tion two attendants were required to be with him, and that now he cau exercise
with other patients ? A. When I first came here it was the rule that not less
than two attendants were to go in his room at once, in the strong room. Yes,
sir; he goes out with the other patients with the ordinary attendants.
These witnesses, against whose characters there has not been
a whisper, are entirely disinterested and are in every way worthy
of full credit. Then comes Dr. Grissom — deeply, intensely in-
terested — with all that he holds most dear dependent upon the
issue. He testifies as follows :
"J. D. L. Smith was admitted here from Cumberland, Jan. 1st, 1889, as crimi-
ral y insane, having been tried for an attempt to burn a bridge near Fayetteville.
His insanity is peculiar — what some alienists would call a moral insanity — that is,
more a disease of the emotions than the intellect. He was the most persistently
mischievous and demoralizing patient ever here since I have been here. He has
been frequently spoken of by Mr. Thompson and others as the worst man they
ever knew. He was in the habit of making false keys of wire and unlocking the
ward doors. He once escaped and went to Fayetteville. He was brought back,
but escaped again and was captured in the city of Raleigh. His delight seemed
to be to annoy as much as possible everybody connected with the institution. He
had to be secluded except when let out for recreation. He frequently sent me
vulgar and insulting notes. On one such occasion I directed him to be restrained
to the bedstead to prevent the effect of his demoralizing conduct in the wards on
other patients. He was an epileptic patient, having these attacks at long inter-
vals. He frequently had what the attendants and myself thought were feigned
attacks of the epilepsy, and on such occasions would bruise his feet against the
wall. We had made for him a mattress covering the whole floor of his room and
extending up the walls of the room for several feet. His restraints were always of
short duration, because- 1 restrain epileptics for only a short time with orders to
watch them while under restraint. He had a habit of concealing about his bed
pieces of wire and matches. Afterwards I, tried a different treatment by allowing
him larger liberties ; but not being satisfied with this, and having been refused a
request to go out at large, he recommenced making false keys, etc. I directed
him to be secluded. It was soon reported that he had cut his arm and threatened
to bleed himself to death. I then ordered him to be restrained. On passing his
room I heard him talking in a most vulgar manner, connecting my name with a
lady's. This I thought was the result of the wide insubordination in the wards.
The allusion was infamously false. I was powerfully overcome with anger. I
raised my foot and said, ' You are a bad man. I have a notion to kick you. If
you had justice done you, you would be in the penitentiary. ' This was but an
echo of what I always thought and think now. I did not kick him or touch him.
He was restrained for only a short time. Since then he has behaved better than
he ever has since he has been here, and enjoys larger liberties than ever, attend-
ing the dances, chapel services, etc. I have conversed with him about these
restraints and think their effect has been to improve him, and think be appre-
ciates it. "
" He frequently sent me vulgar and insulting notes. On one
such occasion I directed him to be restrained to the bedstead to
prevent the effect; of his demoralizing conduct in the wards on
other patients. "
Tell me, gentlemen of counsel for Dr. Grissom, if you can,
by what medical authority, in what asylum, has any insane man
been strapped to the bedstead, delivered to the close embraces of
this cruel instrument of torture called the bed strap, because he
had written an insulting note to the superintendent. If a sane
man should write you an insulting note, swift and just would
come the punishment, but if his mind was diseased, if the hand
of God was upon him, and his words and acts were beyond his
control, it would be cruel and cowardly to inflict upon him any
punishment. But, says Dr. Grissom, he was "criminally insane,
having been tried for au attempt to burn a bridge near Fayette-
ville. " Over the court-house of Cumberland county stands a
statue of stern, blind Justice. In that court-house, where cold
justice is administered and mercy is unknown, this man had
been pronounced irresponsible for his act on account of his
insanity. The State says that she cannot punjsh a man who is
insane. Instead of sending him to the penitentiary for what
under other circumstances would be a crime, she holds out to
him the loving hand of pity. She sends him to this institution
of charity in order that he may have gentle, soft-handed attend-
ants to soothe and nurse him, and eminent physicians to cure
him of his diseased mind. Yet we find that this man who, his
counsel say, is so wise, so philanthropic, and so humane as to
have won a national reputation, causes this insane man to be
strapped and severely punished for writing him an insulting
"I directed him to be restrained to the bedstead to prevent
the eifect of his demoralizing conduct in the wards on other
Why did not the State, when he burned that bridge, send him
to the penitentiary to prevent the effect of his demoralizing con-
duct on his fellow-citizens? The State did not punish him for
so serious an offence as burning a bridge ; but this great, good
man, this distinguished, big-hearted physician, ties him flat on
his back because he wrote to him an insulting note.
When Dr. Grissom read that great pamphlet on mechanical
restraint to the St. Louis convention, did he tell of this? And
if he had done so, do you believe he would have received any
honors from that convention? No, indeed; he said nothing
Let me read to you the closing paragraph of that pamphlet.
He writes like an angel :
" For ourselves, my brethren, we stand or fall not upon the
opinion of others, but upon the performance of a sacred duty ;
not in blind adherence to any theory. Let us see, above all
things, we use and do not abuse any means of treatment God
has placed in our hands for the protection of his stricken crea-
tures, and we may fear not when they and we come to a final
judgment before the Eye that seeth all hearts."
How would it have appeared to that convention if above this
had been written, "On one such occasion I directed him to be
restrained to the bedstead"? Can you conceive of an indescriba-
bly good God putting into the hands of this man that cruel
bed strap to use as a means of punishment on a poor insane man
in his keeping for what he could not help? If any mind not
of earth invented this machine of torture, it must have been
that of the arch fiend himself! Where is the man with one
spark of bravery in his heart who would thus have taken advan-
tage of even a sane man in his power?
On another occasion when Smith was being restrained to pre-
vent his cutting himself, says Dr. Grisssom, "On passing his
room I heard him talking in a most vulgar manner, connecting
my name with a lady's; the allusion was infamously false. I
was powerfully overcome with anger. I raised my foot and said,
' You are bad man ; I have a notion to kick you ! If you had
justice done you you would be in the penitentiary !'"
Out of his own mouth is he convicted! Cast aside if you
like the evidence of all these other witnesses who have testified as
to this matter, and upon the testimony of Dr. Grissom himself
you must find him guilty of this charge. There's your philan-
thropist, without whom this Asylum could not exist, as we are
told by the counsel of Dr. Grissom. An attendant, a man who
does not pretend to be a great philanthropist and who has no
national reputation, and who, as counsel say, is " fresh from the
cornfield," must never lay violent hands on a patient. Now
when the Superintendent sets this example I dare to say, in spite
of the testimony of his counsel, that he should be turned out
and sent away from this Asylum in disgrace.
The last case to which I shall call your attention is that of
w. P. UPCHURCH.
T. J. Harris testifies :
Were you ever employed at this Asylum ? A. Yes, sir.
What was your business here ? A. I was an attendant.
Do you know a man named Upc*hurch, a patient in this Asylum ? A. Yes, sir.
Do you remember anything unusual in his treatment by Dr. Grissom ? A. I
saw Dr. Grissom put his foot on his head, in August, 1S83.
State all the circumstances connected with that matter from beginning to end.
A. Upchurch broke off a piece of iron and was trying to break the window out,
and Dr. Grissom was informed of it, and he and others came up there and we all
went and put mattresses and got him and threw him down, and Dr. Grissom came
up to him and put his foot on his head and said, " You damn son of a bitch, how
does that feel? " Then I think he was restrained for a while by strapping to the
About this Upchurch matter; you say that Dr. Grissom ordered him to be con-
fined, and that Dr. Grissom came in and put his foot on part of his face and neck ?
A. Yes, sir.
What else did he do ? A. He did nothing else that I know of ; he stood up on
one foot ; it was the time he got a piece of strip from the window.
Were there many marks or bruises upon his face ? A. Little bruises here, but
did not amount to anything ; I did not notice bruises.
Mr. R. I. Hogan testifies :
Did you know W. P. Upchurch? did you ever see anything unusual in the
treatment of this patient by Dr. Grissom ? A. Yes, sir.
Will you state all the circumstances connected with the Upchurch matter ? A.
Mr. Upchurch was in his room excited, and he tore a strip of iron off the win-
dow and was trying to break through the window. The Superintendent and
myself and another attendent got the iron away from him. The door was open
and we ran in with a mattress and shoved him against the side of the house, and
then all ran up and threw him down and took the iron away from him ; Superin-
tendent got on him and stamped him, and put his weight upon his throat and
said, " You damn son of a bitch, how does that feel ? " He was then strapped to
How long did he remain in that position ? A. He was released the next day.
Please explain to the Board what that process of strapping is. A. They
are stretched out on a bed full length, and so fastened to the bedstead on his
back that he cannot move his body, or his arm, nor his feet, nor his legs. When
not fastened tightly he can raise the head a little bit, but cannot raise the
shoulder any. (The strapping apparatus is brought into court at Mr. Whitaker's
request and the witness describes to the Board how it is used).
You say he kept him strapped to the bed until next day? A. Yes, sir; but I
do not remember the time of day he was released.
Suppose the patient was in that condition, can he obey a call of nature ? A.
Yes, sir ; on the bed he could.
Is it the habit to unstrap them or do they discharge themselves in their clothes ?
A. They generally discharge themselves in their clothes.
That was W. P. Upchurch you speak of ? A. Yes, sir.
Do you remember when he was committed to the institution ? A. No, sir ; I
Do you know that he was committed as criminally insane ? A. No, sir.
Do you know that he shot a man nearly to death and was immediately commit-
ted to the Asylum ? A. I knew that he was at times.
Did you not know that he was a powerful man when he was excited ? A. No,
sir ; no more than others.
Did you say he was defying the authorities of the institution at the time ? A.
Yes, sir ; he had a bar of iron.
Did it not take almost every man that could get around him to manage him ?
A. No, sir ; four held him.
Did you say that he stamped him in his face ? A. Yes, sir ; he stamped him on
his face and mashed his foot down on his throat.
Tell the Board whether there was a mark upon him. A. Yes, sir ; there were
marks upon his chin and upon his mouth.
Did anybody see them besides yourself '? A. Yes, sir ; all that was there.
Who were there ? A. Mr. Brewer, the steward, myself and another attendant
I do not remember.
Do you not know that when Dr. Grissom went there, seeing this man struggling
with you, all he did was just to place his foot there to assist you ? A. No, sir ;
I do not ; that is not the fact.
Were those bruises or scratches about his chin made by Dr. Grissom ? A. They
Then he strapped him down ? A. Yes, sir; with that strap or one like it.
Those straps were here when Dr. Grissom came here ? A. Yes, sir.
Do you know that such restraint by straps is an ordinary way of restraining
patients in ordinary asylums ? A. No, sir ; I do not know it.
Jno. W. Thompson testifies :
Do you know anything of patients being strapped to the bed '? A. Yes, sir ; I
have seen them strapped frequently.
Do you know for what they were strapped ? A. Sometimes as a punishment ;
sometimes to prevent them from breaking out.
Punishment for what they had done? A.. Yes, sir; what I heard it was. For
cursing the Superintendent sometimes.
Several of the witnesses have spoken of your being present when Upchurch
was strapped in 1883 and badly treated by the Superintendent. Were you pres-
ent ? A. I was.
Will you state all the circumstances about the matter? A. Upchurch was
locked in his room excited, in what was then the third ward ; he had broken a
piece of iron off the window guard put there to hold wire in guard. He was
standing in the room with a piece of band iron in his hand, cursing, excited. We
could see him from the wire transom over the door. There were present Harris,
Hogan, Brewer, I think an attendant named Carpenter, but I am not certain
about him, the Superintendent and myself. We concluded to take a mattress and
open door suddenly and rush up on him before he could strike with the iron bar;
we prepared the mattress ; rushed on hiui suddenly ; three attendants followed
and threw him to the floor on his back ; the Superintendent rushed in and stamped
him in his face and said, " You damn son of a bitch, how does that feel ? " They
took him up or let him up. His mouth was bleeding and he was crying, tears run-
ning down his cheeks. The Superintendent ordered him to be taken in another
room and strapped to the bedstead, which was done.
Do you know anything more about that ; how long he remained strapped ? A.
I do not.
J.^W. Thompson on being recalled testifies, on cross-examina-
I think that you stated about the case of Upchurch that you witnessed the
matter yourself ? A. I did.
Was he a violent man ? A. Yes, sir. f
Was he a strong man '? A. Yes, sir.
Was he given to making much trouble with other patients '? A. I do not know
that he would make much trouble with patients, but he would with attendants.
He was in a defiant attitude, was he not, when he was taken ? A. Yes, sir.
After some time he was taken with a mattress and held down, as you say ;
while he was held down Dr. Grissom came m and put his foot upon his face ? A.
He stamped him about the face ; he was bleeding about the mouth.
You were there all the time and saw all that was going on ? A. Yes, sir.
Did you see him put his foot on his neck and press him there ? A. I do not
recollect whether I did or not, sir.
Did you see him put his foot on him other than stamp him '? A. I don't recol-
Did you hear a witness, by the name of Hogan, say that he put his foot on his
neck and choked him that way ? A. If that was done I do not recollect it. To
the best of my recollection it was a stamp in the face.
Did you hear witness Harris say that he put his foot upon his head ? Is that
so ? Did the stamping upon the mouth produce anything like a serious wound ?
A. It was bloody ; I recollect blood and tears.
Did you see any abrasions of the skin, or did it come from a tooth ? A. I
think it came from the corner of his mouth.
When was that ? A. Sometime in the summer of 1883.
Was it the same time testified to by other witnesses, Hogan and Harris? A.
How long was he confined ? A. I do not recollect.
Have you any knowledge that when persons are strapped they are allowed to
be unstrapped to obey the calls of nature? A. It is not within my knowledge.
Have you any knowledge about it one way or the other ? A. No, only I have
seen them soil the bed.
What were the Superintendent's orders ; do you know ? A. No, sir.
By the way, gentlemen, there is a word or two I wish to say
in regard to John W. Thompson. While the counsel for Dr.
Grissom have abused witness after witness and denounced them
as perjurers and utterly unworthy of belief, not one word have
they said in detraction of the character of Mr. Thompson, ex-
cept that one of the counsel has commented upon the fact that
he has brought no witness here to testify as to his good charac-
ter. He needs none. John W. Thompson was born and reared
in this immediate neighborhood. His whole life is before them.
I have no doubt they have diligently searched the country to
find some flaw in the character and conduct of Mr. Thompson ;
but not one word has been said against him and no man is reck-
less enough to do so, for they well know that no man in North
Carolina stands higher for truthfulness, for purity of life and
nobility of f urpose than John W. Thompson.
I will now read the testimony of Dr. Grissom. It is long
and you may think me tedious ; but as I am prosecuting Dr.
Grissom and asking you to find him guilty of these serious
charges, and to remove him from office, I ask you injustice to
him to patiently hear what he has to say. He testifies as fol-
" W. P. Upchurch was admitted here as a patient on January 12, 1878, and is
here now. He belonged to the criminal insane and was decidedly homicidal ;
shot his brother and attempted to kill other people. He thought that his bones,
neck, etc., were' crushed ; had hallucinations of hearing ; thought he heard peo-
ple planning to kill him. On one occasion he kicked a guard out of a window
and defied any one to come to him. He was strong and dangerous ; would wake
at night and tear up his bed clothes. His attacks on people were sudden and
without warning, and but for restraint would have happened two or three times a
day. About June, 1883, it was reported to me that he had torn a bar from his
window and was defying the attendants. I went to the room accompanied by
attendants and possibly by the Steward. One attendant, named W. H. Carpen-
ter, proposed to go into his room with a stick. I told him no ; no such means
should be used ; and then, at my suggestion, he covered himself with a mattress,
and, understanding that he would be followed by others, rushed upon him, seized
him and disarmed him. A violent struggle ensued, in which I think neither Mr.
Thompson nor myself took hold of him. The attendants handled him rather
clumsily. Everybody, including myself, seemed more or less excited. I told them
to throw him down. They did so. I then put one foot upon his neck with a
view to holding him down till he should become quiet. In about a minute his
paroxysm seemed to subside and I took my foot from his neck. He was then
restrained to the bedstead, I do not remember how long, to impress upon him
the impropriety of such violence. I did not stamp him, because if I had stamped
him in the face, being under excitement, as we all were, I would probably have
broken the bones of his face or nose. If I had stamped him on the neck, under
the circumstances, I would most likely have broken his neck. I did not stamp
him anywhere ; and there was no indications of violence except a little blood,
which did not come from my foot, but from the struggle. I remember with
accuracy the main incidents of this affair, because I regretted the bad example
it might have on the attendants, as they might not understand the motives that
prompted me. The affair was reported at night, and the report contained no
record of violence, and no comment was made upon it.
"Julian C. Bevers was once an attendant in this institution. He was not pres-
ent at this affair. He became an attendant here in 1886, I think ; certainly not
as far back as 1883. There was no attendant present named Bevers at this
occurrence. Upchurch'scondition has wonderfully improved. At one time he
had to be kept in constant seclusion on account of his violence. He now has the
largest liberty in the ward and goes out-doors frequently for recreation. I don't
remember what I said to Upchurch at the occurrence referred to. I was in the
habit of swearing a little when under excitement. If the testimony in regard to
my language is as exaggerated as the testimony in regard to my actions it is
entitled to no credibility. "
Remember, gentlemen, there were present Hogan, Harris,
Brewer and Carpenter, four strong men, holding Upchurch, and
yet Dr. Grissom says, "I put one foot on his neck with a
view to holding him down until he should become quiet." "I
did not stamp him." When Dr. Grissom, in that celebrated
pamphlet that we have heard so much of, pretended to cite the
case of Upchurch, why didn't he tell that great convention of
eminent alienists that with this insane man held to the floor by
four strong men he placed his foot upon his neck as he would
upon the neck of a dog, and that then, "to impress upon him
the impropriety of such violence," he caused him to be strapped
to the bedstead? I venture to say that if he had done so that
great convention instead of honoring Dr. Grissom would have
expelled him as unworthy of its membership. And then, in
addition to the admission of Dr. Grissom, Hogan, Harris and
Thompson have testified that he stamped him in the face until he
bled. How can you avoid the force of this testimony? Do
you believe that Mr. Thompson and these other witnesses have
sworn falsely? What have they to gain by it? What promotion
can Mr. Thompson expect by the removal of Dr. Grissom?
What motive has Harris or Hogan to testify falsely ?
Where can there be found the alienist who would not in un-
mistakable terms condemn and denounce such treatment of the
Before closing I desire to present to you a sketch of Dr.
Grissom as drawn by himself. Here it is ! Look at it, and
see if you can see any resemblance to that great and god-like
man whom the counsel for the defence has so eloquently and so
often eulogized :
" I again asked King if he said he had never seen any immorality. He said, 'I
will tell you all about it when this thing blows over. ' I said it might be too late.
This thing might descend to other generations and there might be blood shed about it.
He then became angry and said I had asked him that question four times,
and for me not to do it again. I asked him if he was trying to bully me. He
mumbled out that he was not trying to bully me, but that he didn't want me to
ask him that question again. / then said, ' Mr. King, you are trying to bully me,
and if you try to bully me 1 will kill you.' 1 He then turned and left."
" I then told Harris that I had heard of his talking about various females at
the institution, and asked him what truth there was in it. His answer, which was
about a certain respectable female formerly an attendant here, caused me to take
a pistol from my drawer and say, ' You infamous a?td depraved scoundrel, you
defamer of female virtue, if you do not leave here I will blow your brains out,' 1 and
he retired. "
"I may have used under excitement a little profanity, but I have never been a
common swearer. "
How art thou fallen, * * oh, Lucifer, son of the
Dr. Grissom's counsel have dwelt upon the high masonic
honors which have been bestowed upon their client ; they have
held up before the eyes of this, court the bright and dazzling
regalia and insignia of masonic honors worn by him ; they have
pointed out to you the distinction which he has obtained in the
medical profession, and, lastly, they have commented upon the
fact of his being a member of one of the great Christian denomi-
nations of the land.
Human experience teaches us that high position and exalted
rank sometimes end in deep and merited disgrace. Perhaps the
greatest man who ever lived, the brightness of whose intellect has,
since the beginning of the seventeenth century, been giving light
to the world, who reached the highest dignity to which an Eng-
lish subject could aspire, was justly convicted of a high crime,
was deprived by Parliament of the office he had so unworthily
prostituted, and sent with the dark stain of a just condemna-
tion upon him to finish his life in retirement and disgrace.
The glittering and dazzling paraphernalia of the masonic fra-
ternity cannot shield Dr. Grissom ; the distinguished honors
which his medical associates have bestowed upon him cannot
protect him ; and even that great Christian denomination of the
land, that branch of the Church which, following the footsteps
of the Master, goes into the lanes and by-ways seeking the poor
and the distressed, the humble and the unlettered, turning their
steps from that broad way which leadeth to destruction and lead-
ing them into that narrow way which leadeth unto life — even
this cannot help him. By the evidence, and by that alone, must
he stand or fall.
Now, gentlemen, I must apologize for the long and, I fear,
tedious argument which I have made, and thank you for the
courteous and close attention which you have given to me. As
I have passed through the halls of this Asylum from day to day
during the progress of this trial, and heard the moans and
screams of these unfortunates, I have been deeply affected with
their miserable, wretched and helpless condition. As I have
heard falling from the lips of many and reliable witnesses evi-
dence of the hard-heartedness, the tyranny, the mismanagement,
the violent and uncontrollable temper of him who should indeed
be a kind and tender-hearted father to these people, as I have
reflected that these wretched people, far away from their friends
and kindred, locked up in these walls, were entirely depend-
ent on this man for whatever of comfort or hope is possible for
those in their sad condition, my heart has swelled with pity for
them, and with indignation and wrath against him who has
been so unfaithful to his most sacred trust, and by his indif-
ference and his bad and cruel treatment has made the lives
of these helpless and unhappy ones even more miserable. The
thought of these things follows me by day and haunts me by
night. I cannot hide from my sight their countenances of men-
tal agony and despair. I cannot close my ears to their cries of
deepest misery, and even as I sleep I hear them say: "Woe is
me, woe is me! Hope is no more!" And feeling as I do,
haunted as I am, my whole soul goes out in tender sympathy to
the patients who are or who may be here, and if I had the power
such would be my words of rebuke and denunciation that this
cruel tyrant would wait not for your verdict of dismissal, but
would rush, as one mad, from this sacred temple which he has
desecrated, and would pray that the mountains would fall on
and the hills cover him.
" Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye
did it not to me."
Great God ! Almighty Creator and Ruler of the Universe, in
whose hands are the destinies of worlds, nations and individuals !
Thou knowest that the misfortunes, the trials and the struggles
of this world are oftentimes more than we can bear. It was but
yesterday that 1 saw a man of bright intellect, of great learn-
ing, of keenly sensitive nature, without apparent cause, pass
into the dark and awful shadow of insanity, and consigned to
the keeping of these walls. There are dreadful moments in my
own life when I too am haunted by the suspicious fear of a dis-
eased brain and it may be that I, or some one whom I love bet-
ter than my own soul, may have to bear this greatest of human
calamities. I pray, I beseech you, good Lord, to so enlighten
the understandings and the hearts of the members of this Board,
upon whom rests the great responsibility of caring for these un-
fortunate people and of ameliorating their sufferings by all pos-
sible means in their power, that they will be able to see their
duty and have the courage to perform it. So fill their hearts
with kindness, with mercy and with the love of the poor suffer-
ing men and women who are or who may be inmates of this in-
stitution that they will cast out and utterly destroy that terrible
machine of torture, that blot upon the civilization of the nine-
teenth century, the bed strap, in whose embrace good men and
women have suffered the agonies of the damned ; and let them
send back into the shades of obscurity, let them remove from this
sacred temple, him who makes use of this cruel instrument upon
the wretched insane in his keeping as a punishment for acts or
words beyond their control.
STATE LIBRARY OF NORTH CAROLINA
3 3091 00747 3416
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